Culture
VOGUE: Demna Gvasalia Brings Balenciaga’s Couture Legacy Forward
05 March, 2017
Renowned Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia who is the creative director of Balenciaga has just presented his new collection of Fall 2017. Demna’s new unusual clothes attracted the near-universe interest in the fashion industry. Here is how VOGUE evaluates the show and the new trend:

“At Balenciaga, wearing the clothes inspires new clothes. That’s the way we work here,” Demna Gvasalia was explaining the provenance of the swept-to-one-shoulder frontages of the tailoring at the beginning of the show. “I went through
almost 30 years of photographs of Cristóbal’s lookbooks, and in many of them the models were clutching their coats like this.” So he made the design follow the gesture, and that accounted for the off-kilter buttoning of the coats, jackets, duffels, and puffers. (Somehow, that equals elegance and cool—that’s the Demna part!)geotv.ge

Demna together with Salma Hayek after the show

As distinct from his street-based Vetements collection, Gvasalia says he has set himself the goal of capturing “modern sophistication” for the couture house founded by Cristóbal Balenciaga a century ago. “I like ease and wearability. These words nonchalance and attitude—I don’t know what the new synonyms are for them, but that’s it.”

Truth be told, the asymmetric fastening at the beginning came over as a bit awkward and over-fashion-y (though, as he pointed out, unbuttoned, they’re just normal coats with some extra volume on one side). He made a clearer case for a redefinition of pulled-together chic with the pencil skirt looks—the trick being that they’re re-appropriated car mats. Gvasalia has just bought himself a car. One of his design methods is the repurposing of things, whether they’re objects from the daily environment of modern life or triggered by looking into the archive. Wing mirror clutch bags, key-laden chain necklaces, and diamante belt-buckle earrings flashed by.

That all adds to the proliferating attraction of Balenciaga accessories. Last season’s spandex stocking-boots, brilliantly colored, continued apace. When it got to the floral print section, though, the idea of draping fabric spilled over into the draping of the “Knife” stilettoes. There were flower-print and polka-dot versions, and then—surprise—a preview of possibly the world’s first protest shoes, draped in look-alike Bernie Sanders Balenciaga T-shirt material.

Still, what came next stole the show: Nine spectacular Balenciaga couture dresses, issued in honor of the 100th anniversary. Gvasalia said he’d gone about making them by reinterpreting what he saw in the archive photos of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s incredible landmark designs of the 1950s. “At first, we tried to do things with them, but I thought it was too much,” he shrugged. “So I wanted to keep it pure.” Good call. Some preexisting things just can’t be improved on. The only tweak Gvasalia made amongst the bubbles, the flounces, and the feathers was the addition of pockets and giant matching Bazaar bags. The result: elegance and cool. He nailed it.

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See full collection at VOGUE

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