For Alexander Wang's first Balenciaga Pre-Spring collection, it was back to house basics. In as much, he took the Paris-based staff to Spain's Basque country — Cristóbal Balenciaga's native home — where many of the label's vintage designs currently reside. With that kind of research backing the design, it came as no surprise, then, that Wang's latest is a modern update on Balenciaga's trademark silhouettes.
The iconic volume and bubble skirts were toned down, giving way to double-layered dresses that hit just below the knee and soft origami folds on shirts and dresses. The collection supplied a tight edit of black, white, and gray, with all the signs of Cristóbal's structural elegance intact. Even the late couturier's scribble patterns were part of the Pre-Spring equation, showing up on boyish jackets and silk underlayers of dresses. The things Wang did see fit to inject with his signature downtown aesthetic were much more subtle. He turned phone cords (remember those?) into ankle straps on sandals, coiled bracelets, and earrings, and gave texture to lampshade-like hats, shoes, and hems with black shredded vinyl.