When I first got into fashion, I had a lot of trouble distinguishing between different designers. I never understood how anyone could recognize a certain designer just by looking at their work. What I have learned over the years is that knowledge comes with experience... and reading. Each designer has their own aesthetic, and I'd like to introduce you to some of them in my new series, Designer Basics.
Photo Credit: ELLE
Now normally I would start at the very beginning (a very good place to start…) with Coco Chanel, perhaps the most famous fashion designer of all time, but since CF already has a plethoraof columns on Chanel, I thought I'd shake things up a bit by featuring Alexander Wang. Read on to learn more about this designer and how to get his look for less.
Know the Basics
Alexander Wang is the hottest young designer in the game right now. Known for his cult following among young people, his fast rise to success at such a young age, and his ability to wreak havoc in every H&M in the country, it's no wonder so many people are hooked.
Here's what you need to know:
- Wang attended Parsons The New School for Design, but dropped out in his sophomore year
- He launched his label at age 19
- In 2009 he won the Swarovski Womenswear Designer of the Year Award
- In 2012 Wang took over as creative director of Balenciaga
- He was the youngest designer to collaborate with H&M
- Wang now designs womenswear, menswear, shoes, and accessories
Alexander Wang is known for his laid-back, downtown, and "model off-duty"aesthetic. In fact, Wang gets twice the press during Fashion Week since his designs can be spotted on models both on and off the runway. Key elements of his designs include:
- Sportswear-inspired silhouettes and materials
- Structural, tailored pieces
- Sharp, clean angles
- Oversized, menswear-inspired pieces (especially coats)
- Edgy interpretations of casual wear
- Frequent use of black and neon colors
How to Look like You're Wearing Alexander Wang (on a College Budget)
Despite the adoration he receives from young people, very few college students can actually afford Alexander Wang. So, how can you get the same look on a college budget? By drawing from the key elements of Wang's aesthetic. I've put together two outfits to help you out:
This outfit draws inspiration from Alexander Wang's model off-duty vibe. The faux leather details on the leggings give them a sporty look, and the neoprene crop top plays on Wang's use of oversized proportions in a more wearable way. Add on white Chelsea boots for a downtown vibe that will take you from class to a fashion show and back again.
The bucket bag is perfect for toting around everything you need, and the beanie and sunglasses (which closely resemble Alexander Wang's Zoro sunglasses) complete the look.
Borrowed from the Boys
This ensemble is based on Alexander Wang's menswear-inspired pieces. Get the Fall 2014 look by layering a white turtleneck under a black sleeveless dress with faux leather details. Layer on a boyfriend coat to play up the tailored, menswear vibe. Finish with a structured bag and oxfords to really channel Wang's androgynous style.
What do you think?
Have you hopped on the Alexander Wang bandwagon yet? Were you as disappointed as I was to find your local H&M completely out of the collaboration? Do you have a better understanding of Alexander Wang's aesthetic? Who would you like to see on Designer Basics? Let us know in the comments!