NY Fashion Week: Wang goes to church, Siriano goes for knits

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Posted: Feb 13, 2016 11:08 PM
NY Fashion Week: Wang goes to church, Siriano goes for knits

NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press is all over New York Fashion Week, from the runway designs to the celebrity-filled front rows. Here are some recent highlights:

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ALEXANDER WANG GOES TO CHURCH

Perhaps part of the reason Alexander Wang was grinning as he made his post-show victory lap on Saturday was the phrase emblazoned on the pockets of his black shirt: "HOLY SMOKE."

The words had, at the least, a double meaning: Wang's runway show had just taken place under the stained-glass windows and mosaics of the imposing St. Bartholomew's, an Episcopal church on Manhattan's tony Park Avenue.

That was the "holy" part. As for the "smoke," some of Wang's typically racy outfits bore what appeared to be a marijuana leaf motif. If that was an odd thing to see in the pews of a church, even more so were the totally sheer tops worn by a few of the models.

Wang is well known for his edgy urban streetwear, mainly in black, with lots of studs and metallic details. His collection Saturday held true to his style, which he described in his production notes as "deliberately opposing standard definitions of beauty and taste."

With celebrity fans in the front row like "Empire" star Taraji P. Henson, Kylie Jenner and rapper boyfriend Tyga, and Beyonce's sister Solange Knowles, Wang displayed mini-skirts in tweed, big fluffy sweaters, and heavy combat boots to add a masculine touch.

There were angora beanies, roomy zippered jackets and hooded sweatshirts, perfect for the bitterly cold day outside. Besides the leaf motif, Wang emblazoned some of his garments — for both men and women — with a print showing an exotic dancer, perhaps a throwback to the actual pole dancers at his fashion after-party last season.

Wang also incorporated a few choice words into his collection: Women's sheer tights bore the word "girls" on the legs, a black sleeveless mini-dress bore the word "strict," and the words "tender" and "faded" also popped up.

Henson, a Wang devotee, had nevertheless never been to one of his shows until Saturday, she said.

"I just happened to be in town doing a show," she said. "I love him to death. He's always there for me. His clothes look amazing on me so I'm finally here to see one of his shows."

Wang, 32, left the Paris design house Balenciaga last summer after less than three years, during which he balanced that job with running his namesake label in New York.

—Jocelyn Noveck

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CHRISTIAN SIRIANO DOES BRIGHTS, KNITS

Siriano brought the drama, as always, in go-big-or-go-home gowns that shared his runway with day looks in a fresh wide stripe, along with a touch of knit and a clever digital print that looked like woven yarn, but wasn't.

He was inspired by the textile artist Sheila Hicks and an exhibition she once put on called "Art of the Yarn."

"One of her pieces was this chartreuse woven, long tapestry and that jumped off the whole color palette. Then I started exploring other knit textiles and types of crochet. I love the ideas for the colors that they're yarn dyed, and they came out really citrusy and strong. I like that we have all this color for fall," Siriano explained backstage before the show.

While honoring the artistry of Hicks in bright yellows and reds, he also paid homage in actual knits. Big cables were used on dresses and crochet lace was paired with fluttery sequins.

A wide-stripe print on a background of light tan included a touch of sexy pinky purple as Siriano also showed off menswear-inspired tailoring in pantsuits and other looks.

Slowly, Siriano has built a presence in luxury, also sticking with Payless for shoe lines. He's a busier man, red carpet wise, than he has ever been, dressing six clients for the Screen Actors Guild awards and six for the Golden Globes after nabbing Knowles for the Oscars last year. He put her in bright red.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift have all worn Siriano designs.

—Leanne Italie