FINALLY!!! The time has come to see what the great Alexander Wang is doing for Balenciaga in his first collection for the house. The TV crews weren’t as thick as they were for Raf Simmon’s first Dior collection but there was a presence nonetheless-a reminder that fashion is a story of national relevance in France. “I’m going back to the roots, identifying the codes of the house, and translating them into a functioning, full wardrobe,” Wang said. A simple plan but no simple task, plenty wondered if the29 year old designer of high end street wear would even be able to bring anything to the table at one of fashion’s most noted houses. Dior called Balenciaga “the master of us all” if you remember. Despite a tight time frame-according to the press he began construction in January-Wang clearly made a study of the house’s archives in which cocoon hats, molded peplums, jackets with rounded volumes, petal skirts, bracelet sleeves-all made an appearance in the show. Wang’s runway was faux marble, and it became one of the show’s ongoing platitude; a tribute, apparently, to the sculptural quality of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s clothes, not to mention the massive legacy. The marble print first showed as the lining of elegant tops that peeled open at the back, then as a motif on a bullion-embroidered dress and tailleurs as exuberantly embellished as couture, and finally as intarsias on looks that felt the most of a classic of Wang’s own house style: tiny shaved fox jackets worn with high-waisted velvet lace pants, highly elevated street style. Though some in the audience didn’t believe the collection had the shock that was expected, and its true it didn’t, at least to that of Nicolas Ghesquière’s earliest shows for the label. All in all it was great first collection for Wang, and we hope to see more of his personality in the up-coming shows.