Wang Impresses, Wu Politely Pleases, and Vena Cava Divides Opinion

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From left: Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, and Vena Cava. Photo: Imaxtree

And we're off! Three days in, and Fashion Week reviews are rolling in — first up, the critics tackle Alexander Wang's sexed-up rocker, Jason Wu's Park Avenue princesses, and Vena Cava's glitter punk.

Alexander Wang
Critics were largely impressed with Wang's rocker-chic collection of bike shorts, motorcycle jackets dripping with fur, and graphic-print jersey dresses. Most lauded his continued edgy, downtown sensibility: Fashion Week Daily called him "the yang" to Jason Wu's yin and said the collection embodied "effortless rocker glam." British Vogue described the looks as "vintage Eighties business attire," particularly admiring Wu's sexed-up take on the sweatshirt. Several critics tired of the "ubiquitous bike shorts" — British Vogue felt they "missed the mark" and Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune thought the "1980s influence seemed too prevalent" at times. Cathy Horyn of the New York Times was the most vocal critic, deeming the showing "surprisingly old-hat" and accusing Wang of having a "belated epiphany that sex sells." Others had gentle critiques in the accessories department: Style.com found the coordinated belts and bags "matchy-matchy," and Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily offered that the show "might have benefitted from fewer Peruvian hats," but noted that "young Wang cuts a mean dress." Overall, critics were intrigued with Wang's edgy, sexy spectacle. Concluded Menkes, "Wang's designs brought back the power woman in all her feline glory."

View a slideshow of the Alexander Wang collection.
Watch a video of the Alexander Wang show.


Jason Wu
The critics politely applauded Jason Wu's prim, polished collection, with more than one reviewer drawing approving comparisons between his designs and the sportswear of Oscar de la Renta. Style.com noted that the clothes would please "a princess of the Park Avenue variety (assuming such a creature still exists)" and British Vogue echoed the sentiment, writing that the collection felt as though "it were specifically designed for American aristocracy, if such a thing exists." FWD praised the "outstanding" craftsmanship of the embroidered gowns and WWD called them "delightful." Suzy Menkes lauded Wu's "new exploration of day wear," particularly the gray pantsuit that opened the show. But while the critics found the show universally pleasing, it didn't thrill. "He didn't do anything jarring," notedFWD; "[T]hey don’t make an impression on your memory," shrugged Cathy Horyn. WWD disagreed, asserting that though Wu's clothes are "consummately wearable they are not at all bland."

Watch a slideshow of the Jason Wu collection.


Vena Cava
Critics were divided on their opinions of Vena Cava's "darkly punkish," gemstone-inspired collection. British Vogue praised the clothes as "about as far from geoscience geek-chic as you can get" and FWD applauded the "easy, cool aesthetic," breathing a sigh of relief that the theme was carried out in a "sophisticated and tactful manner." WWD loved it best, cheering the duo's "ambitious" showing and asserting that the clothes "effortlessly toe[d] the line between grace and edge." Style.com hinted that "there were perhaps fewer surprises than some might have liked" — perhaps a nod to Cathy Horyn, who found the design choices uninteresting and "wholly arbitrary."

Watch a slideshow of the Vena Cava collection.