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Alexander Wang Understands the Perils of Wearing All White

Alexander Wang’s spring collection, like so many of the spring runways, was dominated by white and pale pastels, which is a scary thing when you live in a city full of dirty park benches, grimy subway turnstiles, and jostling crowds who spill their coffee on you and then rush off without so much as proffering a napkin. Wang himself is the first to understand: “It’s just more risky to wear something like that, in the sense that you don’t want to sit down on the subway and things like that,” he explained at his spring collection trunk show at Barneys last night. “How to keep it clean? I don’t know. Carry a Tide pen with you?” He was, however, careful to feature fabrics and prints that could weather the abuse of city living: “Why I mixed it up with some rubber and some prints, and if you get a nick on it or a stain on it, you just play it off like it’s been there the whole time.”

And how are things going with his forthcoming store, whose blacked-out windows and locked doors have been taunting shoppers from the corner of Grand and Mercer for months now? “It’s opening sometime next year,” he said, laughing. He wouldn’t give many details, but likened the process to putting together a collection:

You’re still figuring out the language, and you’re perfecting all the details, and it’s like working on a show or a collection. It’s not done until it’s done. But yeah, there are definitely those moments when I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, or come up with something on the subway. It’s always unexpected where you get inspiration.

He’s being very careful about bedbugs, the scourge of retail stores across New York City. “We’ve definitely had our fair share of taking those precautionary steps to make sure that our office and our store will be clear. It’s all safe here at A. Wang,” he said. And speaking of bedbugs and retailers, how did he enjoy Wednesday night’s Victoria’s Secret show, which he attended as a guest of Carine Roitfeld? “She goes every year. She says it’s her favorite show,” he said of Roitfeld. “I mean, I know most of these girls in the show, and it’s great to see them in a different light. Some of those girls are rarely seen with hair and makeup like that, and it’s cool to see them all dressed up like that.”

Alexander Wang Understands the Perils of Wearing All White