Sunday, 30 January 2011

today i'm channelling... alexander wang s/s'11

Back in September, when I was writing my show reports for New York fashion week, I stated that while I didn't immediately love Alexander Wang's spring/summer show, I was sure that by the time spring came around, so would I. And what do you know? My prediction came true. As the dreary days of winter slowly (oh so slowly) tick by and spring edges ever closer, Wang's loose draped silhouettes in shades of tennis white, silver grey, soft peach and buttercup yellow seem more and more appealing. While my dislike of the grungy hair and piercings Wang saw fit to accompany his clothes has not softened, instead imagining his beautiful clothes teamed with soft, dewy make-up and loose, freshly-washed hair has enabled me to see them from a whole new perspective. Highlights of Wang's stellar collection include beautiful crisp white dresses cut in soft parachute silks; slouchy separates in smoky grey, mint green and smudged white; loose, asymmetric silk dresses with metallic panels, and casual foil-effect bomber jackets. And as the spring collections continue to trickle into high street stores, it's clear that Wang's influence over what people want to wear shows no signs of waning.

With that in mind, I thought I would bring to your attention some of the cheaper items paying homage to Wang's sporty-but-elegant aesthetic. I mentioned
the other day how much I'm looking forward to Topshop's New Age Constellation collection, and from what I've seen so far it seems that crisp white shirt-style dresses, as seen in Wang's show, will prove a strong driving force behind it. In fact, the white dress, always a staple for summer, has been given a Wang-style makeover in many stores, with cleaner lines and details such as collars and sheer panels providing a stronger alternative to the sundress of old. Acne's Arci dress, reduced from £220 to £132 and made from beautiful deconstructed chiffon, is surely the perfect representative of Wang's tendency towards classics with a modern, harder twist. If you do have a little money to spend, though, you can currently get an actual Alexander Wang shirt dress for a mere £157 at, reduced from £390. If that's out of your price range, however, then Asos' dipped hem shirt dress, reduced from £40 to £32, is a great cheaper alternative.

Moving on from the shirt dress, then, and when it comes to crisp white separates, there is no shortage of options on the high street.
Topshop's white layered hem mini skirt, £36, is a great structured piece, and would be perfect teamed with Topshop's white drape front sleeveless shirt, £32, or Asos' chiffon wrap back vest, reduced from £16 to £6. Top these off with River Island's silver hooded bomber jacket, £34.99, and you will have an outfit that could have walked straight out of Wang's show.

If you fancy adding a little colour, then Wang's ice-cream palette of soft mint, lemon and peach is the perfect way to add interest without introducing dark or harsh colours, which would look out of place against the crisp whites and sharp silvers. I am personally loving these kinds of pastel colours at the moment, and would definitely recommend my
mint green H&M jumper teamed with Topshop's lavender lip polish, £6, as the perfect way to pep up a white outfit. Alternatively, Warehouse's macrame sun silk dress, reduced from £60 to £42, and Topshop's mint tab button short sleeve shirt, £33, are both lovely subtle mint green options.

Finally, if you're looking for a standout evening dress, Wang's deconstructed silk tunics with silver foil strips have surely provided the inspiration for a multitude of high street alternatives. At the top end of the price scale is
Zimmermann's mesh-shoulder silk dress, reduced from £530 to £159 at the Outnet.
Asos' spaghetti strap silk dress, £55, is a cheaper dressy alternative, while Banana Republic's heritage zip-front shirtdress, reduced from £85 to £29.99, is a slouchier daytime option. My favourite of the grey silk dresses, though, has to be Asos White's S-shaped ruched silk dress, temporarily reduced from £75 to £60: love the chiffon overlay.

Whichever Wang-inspired outfit you choose, don't forget to add some suitably chic accessories;
Topshop's white distressed leather clutch bag, £50, would just be the perfect addition to any of the looks above. Then step into either Asos' Ava suede lace up wedge boots in Grey, £65, or Topshop's Abeline grey suede fold down cuff ankle boots, £75, and add Topshop's graduated hoop links collar, £18.50, for the final finishing touch. Just don't forget to team it all with dewy, barely-there make-up and fresh, unstyled hair to bring a touch of uptown chic to the master of downtown grunge.



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