Aside from being one of Paris Fashion Week’s most anticipated shows, mainly due to creative director Demna Gvasalia’s unconventional revolutions from the inside, Balenciaga’s show was already on everybody’s lips for a rather unpleasant situation, which had to deal with its models.
According to some claims, a grand total of 150 models were forced to wait for three hours, under “sadistic conditions”, for Balenciaga’s show casting a week ago, with Balenciaga having to fire the model casting agency and sending an apology note to the models.
“Balenciaga sent a written apology to the agencies of the models who were affected by this specific situation, asking them to share it with them. Balenciaga condemns this incident and will continue to be deeply committed to ensure the most respectful working conditions for the models.”
Under such premises, many were worried about the runway show’s outcome as, after having tapped Vetements’ Lotta Volkova for the previous Balenciaga spring 2017 ad campaign, the fall/winter 2017-18 rtw collection prefigured imposing fashions indeed.
In the end, however, everything turned out all right, with the runway show and the collection’s staples confirming Gvasalia’s attitudes toward both the upcoming autumnal season and Balenciaga. As for the former, Gvasalia shaped the Balenciaga fall/winter 2017-18 collection around clear political, American-inspired patterns, following in the footsteps of many other designers from this past New York, London and Milan Fashion Weeks.
He went even more political if possible, adding American politician Bernie Sanders’ campaign logos to two pairs of pumps. It is not the first time Gvasalia has used Sanders-inspired notes in one of his collections, with the latter being Balenciaga’s men’s wear fall 2017 one, but it will be with this one that the message will, inevitably, be spread broader.
Politics and controversies aside, the Balenciaga fall/winter 2017-18 collection was extremely interesting for three main reasons. First and foremost, Gvasalia kept his fascination with the oversized, dramatic figures alive, structuring everything from the coats to the dresses to the gowns theatrically. Although being rather wearable compared to Gvasalia’s previous Balenciaga collections, this one also was slightly couture-esque, especially towards its grand finale.
Secondly, he kept on reinventing his notorious color-blocking motifs with more polished neon stockings and colorful patterns, which this time around were warmly winter-approved at the beginning of the show, and more spring-inspired towards its end (he really has got us covered from September 21st to March 21st!).
Last but not least, he mixed Balenciaga’s opulent motifs, here translated to longuette skirts and animal prints, with Vetements’ anti-fashion, normcore-inspired outerwear garments, treating us to an ultimate dream array of bombers, asymmetrical trench coats, anoraks and cozy sweaters that will fly off the shelves for sure.
Photos courtesy of Vogue