With the official announcementof Wang at Balenciaga, those weeping at the prospect of stretchy bike shorts appearing on the Paris, PPR-owned runway can rest knowing, at the very least, that the appointment will usher in a new era for the hallowed fashion house. That’s a good thing — Balenciaga, at its core, has always been known for innovation and the decision, of course, was made to bring the brand into the mainstream. Wang's strongest asset is his clear cut vision, meant for a girl who is refined but edgy and a little tough, a look that’s already popular throughout Asia, an important and booming market for both Balenciaga and Wang’s own line.
But can Wang make Balenciaga commercially successful and as beautiful as Ghesquière? We think he can. We've sifted through every runway look of Wang's career, looking for evidence of vision and technique that might serve him well at his new Paris studio. Despite being known for slouchy tees and leather shorts, Wang knows how to sculpt a bra-top and tailor a motorcycle jacket in a look that is his own. He’s created unusual, cool evening wear that women want to wear, and is unafraid of putting out something that's completely different.
The best thing Wang has going for him is the ability to unite a million different garments and ideas under the same banner of “cool.” Every item he’s created, from runway to diffusion tees and small leather goods, are distinctly Wang; there’s no question who designed them. This will be especially beneficial at Balenciaga, where the commercial pieces available in stores have wandered, looking only distantly related to the runway creations. So, while Wang’s never really showed couture techniques or sculptural fashion, his consistency is impressive, especially for a young designer. His understanding and knack for innovative manufacturing, particularly with accessories and knits, will also prove useful.
Can Wang maintain his singular design vision through Balenciaga's house, observing its past (even just a little bit) while designing for its future? He has a good shot. The rarified beauty, vivid colors, sculpted silk coats, capes, and dresses that Balenciaga is known for will benefit from the tough pavement aesthetic of Wang. And with access to those incredible archives of patterns, fabrics, the atelier, and high-quality craftsmen, Wang should create something surprising and iconic.
To see what that might look like, we’ve compared some of Wang’s own looks with classics from Balenciaga. You’ll see yourself that the young designer, despite all the criticism, may just be able to pull this off.BEGIN SLIDESHOW
Most Viewed Stories
Mary-Kate Olsen Strains Every Muscle in Her Face in an Attempt to Smile
The Fashion Executive Who Doesn’t Wear Underwear on Dates
25 Famous Women on Being Alone
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
Prince George Has No Time for Justin Trudeau’s High Fives
How Angelina Jolie Won the First Big Battle in Her Divorce
It’s Time to Get Over Your White Feelings and Start Taking Action for Black Lives
2009 Called — It Wants Its Vogue-Versus-Bloggers Fight Back.
Former Miss Universe Becomes U.S. Citizen So She Can Vote Against Trump
Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of September 26
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.