If Alexander Wang’s last show was all about the climb to becoming a CEO, his patriotic ‘Collection 1’ celebrated his parents’ version of “Immigrant Americana” that made his dream possible. Wang’s first offering on his new June/December show schedule happened to be the first time his father had ever attended one of his shows in person. “What a perfect one for him to attend,” Wang told Vogue after the show on Sunday, “because the inspiration started with my mum and dad taking a trip together.”
It was during a road trip in California that the designer took advantage of having his parents in the same place (they’ve been separated for 20 years), asking them about their experience immigrating to America. What resulted was a collection that was a melting pot of the most 'American' style symbols, from biker gear and gas station-style sunglasses to bandanas and tricked-out football jerseys. Models had their face painted with stars and stripes. But there were Asian references, too — think Mandarin collars, frog closures, and lacy surgical masks.
"I was inspired by [my parents] coming here and not speaking English, going to the grocery store and not knowing how to buy food, and all the jobs they had to do to build a better life for me," he told Harper's Bazaar backstage. "And taking that story and infusing it with pop culture Americana references that I grew up with like American football, motorcycle Harley Davidson culture, and rock ’n’ roll music. And then taking Chinoiserie and my heritage and infusing it into that world. I wanted to find a new way to express inclusivity and create a new narrative of what that might look like" — and he did it all to the tune of Childish Gambino’s “This Is America.”
Though the collection doesn't hit stores until October, we have a feeling Wang's collection (as modelled by Bella Hadid and Kaia Gerber) is about to inspire an Instagram feed full of July Fourth looks. Here's five of the most American pieces we're betting will be everywhere — because whatever Wang does, his #WangSquad is sure to follow.