Demna Gvasalia's debut collection for Balenciaga
He gives the maison a much-needed reboot
Demna Gvasalia's hotly anticipated first collection for Balenciaga, which debuted at AW16 Paris Fashion Week yesterday, was mind-blowingly good. As he takes the reins from Alexander Wang, the collection was new and unsullied in its streetwear jive, surprising in its exaggerated proportions and inflated hips, and very spot-on in terms of Demna's evolved attitude at a luxury, couture level.
Demna injected touches of his Vetements streetwear aesthetic into architectural silhouettes – the cocoon coat, the sloped backs, the sac dress – so emblematic of Cristobal Balenciaga's iconic style. His idea was to create wearable pieces that consumers could immediately relate to, combining street style and sportswear codes from youth culture with Balenciaga's signatures.
This translated into logo tees, voluminous puffer jackets with spread collars and dropped shoulders, ski pants, oversize button-down shirts, denim jackets and suits in houndstooth and tweed, all masterfully tailored in a combination of colours and punchy prints. The accessories also played on proportions, in massive platform shoes, huge totes and thick sunglass chains.
"Vetements has no historical frame. But at Balenciaga, I need to consider the past, take out certain elements, and then apply my methods to it," Demna told The Cut. Instead of bowing to the legendary house, he made it his own, and, with one swift motion, declared that Balenciaga is back.
Related: Balenciaga AW16
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