New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Gisele Walks at Alexander Wang, Die Antwoord Freak Out the Front Row


It was close to the start of Alexander Wang‘s show at Pier 94 when a woman squealed, “Gisele tweeted she’s walking in the show!” Fashion-show programs typically list the models’ names, but Gisele Bündchen was intentionally left off the roster as she was intended to be the night’s big surprise. Just as we were lamenting to ourselves that there can never be mysteries anymore, a funny-looking man in a sailor suit and cap and white shorts breezed past us accompanied by what appeared to be a black-eyed dwarf in a puffy gold jacket and leggings.

It was–who else?–Die Antwoord, the South African hip-hop weirdos who shot a spring-fashion video for Wang’s more wallet-friendly line T by Alexander Wang. Really, we hadn’t been this taken with the wardrobe of the front-row guests (typically created by the designer just for the occasion) since Kanye and his entourage marched out at Phillip Lim in uniforms that recalled Sgt. Pepper’s a few seasons ago.

Truly, it’s easy to forget sometimes that we’re there to look at the clothes. But when it finally came time to do so, Wang did not disappoint. Models walked between large standing mirrors in slick tweed raincoats and wool crewneck sweaters with a lacquered sheen. Keeping it glossy, Wang also offered tunics and pants with waxed suede panels and shiny black leather dresses and skirts and knee-high boots. It was a more mature collection for the 28-year-old designer than we’d seen before. But his playful side was still present in the fishnet turtlenecks that he showed with the collar flipped up over the mouth.

After the 31 models finished their parade, one final group of beauties came down the runway, including such famous faces as Shalom Harlow and Karolina Kurkova. Gisele closed the show in a black skirt slit all the way up the thigh and a bulky black leather coat, which the petite model was, unfortunately, drowning in.

Cries of “Gisele! Gisele!” came from the photo pit as the models each stopped in front of one of the many mirrors to stare at her reflection. When it was over, audience members snapped their own photos in front of the mirrors, making silly faces and poses. Frankly, they were the best models of all.