Runway Review: Balenciaga Spring 2014

Rarely has there been more controversy over a designer taking over a major fashion house than Alexander Wang becoming fashion director of Balenciaga. Last season every editor and buyer was sitting at the edge of their seat at Wang's debut show and left with a smile on their face because the collection was a great success, both creatively and commercially. After an equally acclaimed resort show, those same editors and buyers could approach this show with a certain amount of confidence knowing that Wang wouldn't let them down. And he surely didn't

After the strict fall/winter collection, Wang loosened things up a bit when it comes to the color palette, not so much the tailoring. I really admire his dedication to the architectural aspect Cristobal Balenciaga is most known for. Even flirty pieces that opened the show such as pastel hued crop tops and shorty shorts had this great volume to them that is unlike anything we've seen this season.

Crisp white, the dominating non-color of the season, ruled at Balenciaga too and so did Wang's fabric of choice - leather. Not so long ago, at his New York Fashion Week presentation, Alexander sent out laser-cut leather shirts and gloves. He continued his fascination with this fabric at Balenciaga, in a more demure and chic way. T-shirt dresses with micro laser-ations (get what I did there?) seemed kind of conservative in the front, but the slits in the back made them interesting and, obviously, sexy.

Alexander Wang also decided to resurrect a trend I hoped was finally gone - the peplum. High waisted cropped pants in an interesting black and white print were adorned with a peplum that was a product of intricate folding (a recurring motif of the collection).

I would never describe any of Wang's collections as romantic, but this one came pretty close. Not only did the pastels throw me off (in good, surprising way), but some of the girls had bows in their hair and not to mention the triplet of corset dresses (satin was also involved).

On the completely opposite side of the spectrum, Wang also showed ultra-chic and, dare I say, perfect tuxedo dresses in black and white. As far as minimalism goes, those were the best specimens of the season.

Alexander ended the show on quite a high note. Short white dresses that resembled architectural masterpieces with transparent white overlays to add a dose of lightness. When Daria Werbowy closed the show in a stunning pale blue, off-the-shoulder dress it was one of those awe-worthy moments I so desperately desired. Thank you, Mr. Wang!

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Photos from Style.com

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