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For Demna Gvasalia’s first runway collection as creative director of Balenciaga, he sought to modernize archetypal designs from the house’s storied archive. Gvasalia’s masterful ability at constructing a distinct attitude through cut and form was expressed this season in the collection’s hunched-shouldered, hip-jutting opening looks, giving the model’s bodies a natural S-Curve, a pose popularized by Balenciaga women of the 1950s. The collection’s oversized puffer jackets and down coats went through a similar deconstructed treatment and were manipulated to fall just below the wearer’s shoulders, while the glamorous side of Balenciaga was seen in the jewel-encrusted stilettos on model’s feet and intricately embroidered floral looks. Exaggerated, tent dresses made of collaged scarves also constituted key looks, while there was a uniform storyline of oversized bags, skirts and coats. If Gvasalia’s first runway collection is any indication of what is to come, the designer’s vision for the future of Balenciaga is an exciting exercise in the beauty of contradiction, classic and new age, edited yet robust, simple and complex, a quintessential design language that will keep everyone guessing.