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Alexander Wang Gives a Nod to Biker Chic with Runway Beauty


Bella Hadid walking for Alexander Wang. Image: Bella Hadid/Instagram

Back in January, Alexander Wang announced that he’d be straying from New York Fashion Week’s de facto schedule, and instead showing in June and December to align with the pre-season collections. And last night, the designer came out swinging for his “Collection 1” debut at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17, putting forth an exuberant collection that celebrated a youthful rock ‘n’ roll take on neo-Americana—complete with stars, stripes, and paisley hair treatments that offered a new beauty alternative for summer bashes and beach parties.

The patriotic runway successor to last season’s silver claw clip for millennial It-Girls? That would be the biker-esque snapback bandana headbands worn across the center of the forehead – seen on Bella Hadid – and paired with hairstylist Guido Palau’s latest take on gritty Wang girl hair.

“It’s not wavy, it’s not straight—it’s nothing-y texture,” he explained backstage while blasting small sections smooth with the new Dyson Supersonic dryer and leaving the rest air-dried before raking Redken’s No Blow Dry Just Right Creamand Shine Flash from roots to tips. “We wanted it to look very cool and downtown à la Axl Rose.” But the scene-stealing hair statements didn’t end there. A few models, including Selena Forrest and Hiandra Martinez, received intricate, individual braid designs spangled with stars and geometric shapes; meanwhile, Binx Walton took bespoke plaits to the next level by having her name woven into her cornrows.

The show’s spirited styles—as well as the matte black, stars-and-stripes face paint etched onto a few models by makeup artist Diane Kendal using a Nars Flibuste Velvet Shadow Stick—certainly presented a fresh counterpoint to prototypical red-white-and-blue dressing, and one marked by a similar streak of fun, freedom, and optimism. These may be uncertain times, Wang seemed to say, but the show must go on.

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