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Wang goes for 'modern elegance' in Balenciaga debut at Paris fashion


New York fashion star Alexander Wang on Thursday presented his much anticipated first show for Balenciaga with a collection praised by his new boss as "elegance, modernity (and) structure".

In one of the shows of the week, Wang paid homage to founder Cristobal Balenciaga in what he modestly described as a "prologue".

Wang, one of the hottest names in US fashion who also has his own label, was announced last December as the replacement for Nicolas Ghesquiere whose surprise departure came after 15 years with the French fashion house.

The black and white dominated collection featured sleek, streamlined silhouettes with narrow ankle-length pants and knee-length skirts cut higher at the front.

Speaking to reporters on day three of Paris fashion week, Wang said his collection aimed to appeal to women of all backgrounds.

"It's a global mindset. I have always had that intention in dressing. It's an attitude, it's a sensibility. It's never defined by a certain age, a certain background," he said.

"Balenciaga had such a multicultural background, coming from Spanish roots, but being a Parisian house. That in itself is already such a global way of thinking," he added.

Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of PPR, the luxury group that owns Balenciaga said Wang had excelled in producing a collection under huge pressure.

The illustrious fashion house was founded in 1919 and is now one of the jewels in the PPR crown.

"It's exceptional. He has an intimate knowledge of the label in such a short period. Even I was surprised, he arrived in December!" said Pinault.

Asked to sum up the collection in a few words, he said simply: "Elegance, modernity, structure."

The 29-year-old Wang, born in California to Taiwanese parents, has also continued his independent New York-based house alongside his Balenciaga duties.

Launched in 2007, his highly-successful own label specialises in relaxed chic with a streetwise edge.

Paris is playing host to nearly 90 autumn/winter 2013/14 ready-to-wear collections and presentations over nine days, wrapping up on March 6.