When I think of the Alexander Wang aesthetic up to this point, I always have a piece made of matte, slouchy black leather in mind. Not only has Wang made his accessories name with handbags that fit that description, but his clothing line can often be described with exactly the same words. For Alexander Wang’s Fall 2011 Handbags, though, the designer is mining the opposite end of the spectrum – the best designs from this collection are almost defiantly glossy and structured.
And those pieces are easily the best of the lot. I find myself growing a bit tired of the stud-bottomed Rocco and all of the auxiliary designs it spawned, even if fall’s calfhair and leather version is the best I’ve ever seen the design look, and the severe, mirror-patent bags provide a perfect antidote to that fatigue. The color palette and smart little metal-capped corners, first seen for Spring 2011, maintain continuity with Wang’s current work, but the results are a much-needed aesthetic refresher. (more…)