New York Fashion Week Recap: Day Three – Wall Street Journal

Alexander Wang celebrated 10 years in the business with pole dancers at the pier at 54th Street.

Highlights from New York Fashion Week Day 3.

1. Welcome Back, Alex

There were pole dancers and cash registers at Alexander Wang’s 10th anniversary fête. The cash machines near the exit on the pier at 54th Street rang up sales of T-shirts and other merchandise labeled with his activists’ message, “Do Something.” The athletic pole dancers further back on the pier celebrated Mr. Wang’s 10 years in business.

The runway fashion collection itself was a welcome return, after weaker seasons that wandered outside Mr. Wang’s comfort zone, to the strengths that made him one of America’s most notable fashion designers. He offers a street savvy look in high-quality materials—coveralls, overalls, pajama tops and deeply cozy hoodies—that proves fashion and commercial needn’t be mutually exclusive. Now that he’s wrapping up his final collection for Balenciaga in Paris in two weeks, Mr. Wang appears focused again on his strengths—clothes with broad appeal and youthful street energy. The Paris label Balenciaga may have been a training ground for him, but perhaps it was also a distraction.

—Christina Binkley

2. Zac Posen Exercises Restraint

Zac Posen and Brooks Brothers debuted a collection Saturday at its Madison Avenue flagship store.

Zac Posen has never been known for understatement, not his fashion line Zac Posen with its entrance-making, poofy and flowing gowns, nor his personality. But the designer is showing a different side with his women’s line for traditionalist clothier Brooks Brothers. He and Brooks Brothers debuted his first collection Saturday in a presentation at its Madison Avenue flagship store. The looks: easy-breezy tailored sportswear. “It’s contemporarizing,” he said, wearing a blue Brooks Brothers double-breasted suit with Prince of Wales checks. “It’s making it contemporary, effortless, these are classics. They don’t go out of style. It’s not about trends.”

The busy Mr. Posen, who held a show for his ZAC Zac Posen line Tuesday and will hold one for his high-end Zac Posen line Monday, said it wasn’t as challenging as one might think to reign in his penchant for fashion excess. “It was exciting to be working in this kind of understated refinement,” he said. “It’s refreshing. I started so young and the brand became about wow and impact and it’s still there but actually [working for Brooks Brothers] has become influential into the upcoming collection you’re going to see from” his Zac Posen show.

—Ray A. Smith

3. No Sweat

Designer Oliveira Baptista debuted his spring collection for Lacoste—a cacophony of bold colors and oblique cuts.

Lacoste, the French athletic wear brand known for its crocodile pocket emblems, has been revived just in time for the biggest trend to hit fashion since the skinny jean. Designer Oliveira Baptista doesn’t think “athleisure” is just a trend, though. “I think it’s part of our lives right now,” he said backstage after debuting his spring collection for the label—a cacophony of bold colors and oblique cuts on clothing that one could run or stretch or get sweaty in (but one wouldn’t actually, as this is Fashion, capitalized).

The French Olympic athletes will, for the second time, be wearing Lacoste as they compete in next year’s games. Regular mortals can choose from looks such as a pinstriped cotton men’s suit with slightly drop-crotch trousers that looked comfy enough to sit cross-legged in. “People want freedom and comfort,” Mr. Baptista said.

—Christina Binkley

4. The Wearable Drone

Rebecca Minkoff, known for her quick adaptation to technology, debuted iPhone 6 charging wristlets and leather bands for the Apple Watch, ready for purchase straight from the runway.

We could be wearing drones one day. Rebecca Minkoff, known for her quick adaptation to new technology, says the future of a wearable drone isn’t far off. Last year, a drone bracelet called “Nixie” was unveiled at Intel’s “Make It Wearable” contest (Uri Minkoff, CEO of the fashion brand and Ms. Minkoff’s brother, was one of the judges). “Within a couple of years, you could have a little pet right over your shoulder capturing your life,” said the designer backstage before her show Saturday. At the show, a non-wearable drone flew around the runway, live-streaming the Marianne Faithfull-inspired collection. Designed with her tech-savvy millennial buyers in mind, Ms. Minkoff debuted iPhone 6 charging wristlets and leather bands for the Apple Watch—all ready to purchase now, straight from the runway.

—Seunghee Suh


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