Alexander Wang launched his sportswear-inspired collection for H&M last night in New York City with a runway show and a post-show party, the latter of which he is almost as renowned for as his clothing. And say what you want about the scuba-boxerness of the situation (or the WANG hat), Alexander Wang, in general, has pretty good musical taste, at least when it comes to his fashion-show afterparties. Sometimes, in Brooklyn, one will see that dude in the club.
He seated the guests (which included Jessica Chastain, Dakota Fanning, Solange and Kate Mara) to a '90s hip-hop and R&B soundtrack—Janet Jackson, LL Cool J, Monica and the like (but also, at one point, Makonnen's very recent hit "Club Goin Up On a Tuesday," because of course). The models, sans hats and walking the runway to Hudson Mohawke and Bobby Shmurda, looked ever-more like versatile blacksmiths trying out for a triathlon, but only after a trio of gymnastic dudes came out and did Parkour for a few minutes. Karlie Kloss wore a Rip Hamilton-style face mask and Tyson Beckford walked in like, quasi-Google Glass while carrying a black basketball. You can watch the entirety of this spectacle here.
But more importantly: the afterparty! Wang seems amenable to new music, so Sharaya J took the stage before Missy Elliott, her mentor. Sharaya J is awesome, here's what you need to know: the Jersey-based artist, signed to Missy's label The Goldmind Inc., hit a year ago with the track "Banji," in the style of Jersey Club music, and the copious hashtag movement #banjicertified. The meaning of the term "banji" (nee "banjee") has evolved from its first emergence in the NYC drag scene of the '80s and '90s; Sharaya's interpretation is the acronym "Be Authentic Never Jeopardize Individuality." Here's that track:
Sharaya J has been working to build her name since. In June, both she and Missy were featured on Faith Evans' "I Deserve It." That same month, Alexander Wang showed his first bit of support by previewing her new, Wang-namedropping song "Shut It Down," another Jersey Club track, in his latest T by Alexander Wang campaign. Sharaya starred, as did the actual Mango. (Chris Kattan.)
Last night, before she performed, she told a runway interviewer that she liked the Wang/H&M collabo because "It reminds me of me!" She performed wearing a puffer jacket, leather sweatpants, and cropped tank from the collection, and amazing Notorious BIG earrings (see above).
Afterwards, Missy Elliott performed "Get Ur Freak On," "Work It," and "Lose Control," which Alexander Wang totally did. Considering this is the last new jam we've gotten from Missy—and just a snipped of a track she produced for Monica, to boot—it's time for a revival, don't you think? Timbaland says it's ready, and Sharaya's motivating presence is promising. If Alexander Wang can help expedite the process, more power to him, even if he wants you to wear an aquasock for day.
Image via Alexander Wang for H&M