One of the world’s most refined and iconic labels is about to make a huge change for the first time in a century, and it’s just about to happen. Balenciaga, which in the past 99 years had only presented its men’s collection by appointment in a presentation format, is going to stage its first menswear runway show at Paris Fashion Week on June 22 under the creative direction of Demna Gvasalia.
The famed fashion house had already undergone a major change earlier last fall, with fashion designer Demna Gvasalia (who also heads up the Vetements collective) following the departure of Alexander Wang. Gvasalia, who has so far managed to perfectly combine Balenciaga’s urban-chic vibes with Vetements’ anarchic street-style allure, staged his first show for Balenciaga in March, receiving extremely positive review and leaving those who were attending the show wide-mouthed. His distorted silhouettes, oversized shirts and structured platform boots left many wondering whether that was just the beginning of Balanciaga’s revolution, and at this point it seems like we received the answer.
“The show will debut the masculine vision of Balenciaga’s new artistic director Demna Gvasalia,” the company said in a statement on Thursday, (maybe) subtly implying that it won’t be an average Balenciaga presentation format show or a usual Balenciaga collection. In the same statement, the label also promised that the show will “redefine the boundaries of contemporary fashion”.
Just by reading between the lines one could find that ‘vision’ kind of enigmatic, given the fact that Gvasalia indeed has a non-conventional, often referred as anti-fashion, take on the fashion industry. Not for nothing he founded what’s regarded as the hottest label of the moment, Vetements.
Born 34 years ago, Gvasalia not only is known for his streetwear style, but also for its androgynous lines and overall architectural tailoring. He is a rule-breaker who, before taking the world by storm with his anarchic visions on fashion, has worked both at Louis Vuitton and Maison Margiela. “I am looking forward to further [expand] the DNA of the house and, together with the team, to write a new chapter in its history;” declared Gvasalia regarding his appointment as Balenciaga’s creative director.
While looking for a new creative director, Balenciaga’s headquarters were specifically thinking of somebody that could not only reshuffle the cards of the fashion house, but would also be capable of adding a post-modern touch to its pieces without giving up on its century-old legacy. “I was really amazed by his ability to develop an approach to the brand that was really new and that was really his own… what should be the attitude, what should be the silhouette, what should be the volumes,” Balenciaga’s chief executive officer and president Isabelle Guichot told WWD a few months ago, perfectly capturing Gvasalia’s true colors.
Photo courtesy of Livingly