The Runway Reviewed: Alexander Wang Channels C-3PO, Robert Geller Goes Bonkers For Bauhaus
Plus looks at Bono and beau Ali Hewson's EDUN label and Bjork-fave threeASFOUR
Hands down the best menswear show we’ve seen all week, Robert Geller drew on his love for oi and post-punk as a basis for a collection that might fit at the London Rough Trade shop in 1986. Soundtracked by British punk band Blitz’s The Killing Dream album — the album on which they dropped their early oi roots for an artier sound — Geller presented geometric layering of linen shorts and suede tops, natty barber socks, Indian-inspired bead necklaces, and the most excellent Oskar hat in wool felt that made us want to go home and listen to Depeche Mode because, outfit Dave Gahan in this line already. Oh, and all the leathered looks — a cropped biker vest, zippered trousers — were actually manufactured in new-wave neoprene, giving the whole thing a sheen of Duckie in a wet suit. It wasn’t too nostalgic, though — amazing tailoring and supple fabrics gave it a distinct air of right now, but that era of music-subculture fashion is forever relevant (as partly evidenced by the amount of women stomping around in creepers right now). Geller said he was going for a thing that was both Bauhaus (the art movement) and Bauhaus (the band) — we chatted with him backstage after the show, so stay tuned for the video.
The conscious label begun by Ali Hewson and her husband, U2 singer Bono, was meant to open the door for trade with African manufacturers, but it’s far from being too hemmed into its eco-consciousness. This season was draped in sparkly white sequins, blush-colored flack jackets paired with sheer floral camo, and leather dog-tag arm cuffs — all very military-inspired, like Roman gladiators appearing in Platoon before Jay-Z goes to Tunnel in 2002. You know? The soundtrack was pulsing techno burble, including a single that SPIN’s fashion week partner, MNDR, Shazam’d and subsequently described as “old, IDM-ish Tiesto, from when Tiesto was cool.” Alicia Keys and Gina Gershon watched together from the front row and we tweeted a photo of their butts. (Sorry.) Michael Stipe and the Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. were there, too, but there were no rear-shot picture opportunities.
Everybody’s favorite badboy designer (and hair muse) sat Die Antwoord’s robo-sprites, Ninja and Yo-landi Visser, front row — not just an omen for his party later (they performed) but a statement about his ideas for this collection. Wang seems to be pressing further into the near future, evoking a clinical sterility through zippered surgical tunics and tan, android-esque leather jackets, not to mention his omnipresent black leather. Some of the structural elements seemed intended to make the models look like robots: a gauntlet sleeve on a shirtdress broke up the arm to look like separate attached parts, C-3PO style, while a paneled leather dress gave the illusion of super-chic, full-body circuitry. Cage sandals completed the look, a calf-strap hearkening back to ’30s garter belts while giving CP-30 realness. We’re thinking Wang’s been Netflix’ing Metropolis a lot lately.
On the other side of the robot-clothes coin, Bjork fave threeASFOUR gave us clothes for when the power grid collapses and we’ll all have to sew our own shit from scavenged parachutes and solar panels. Combining asymmetry with shiny, colorblock patchworking, the trio of designers draped mesh capes over cut-out leggings and created the most gorgeous balloon dress from magenta and orange silk— not to mention their own take on robot circuitry that also mimicked a rearrangement of internal organs, represented by iridescent tube crin and silver globule mercury booties. Warp speed us to the collective threeASFOUR brain, stat, please.