Although not exactly designed by Demna Gvasalia himself, the newest Balenciaga pre-fall 2016 collection somehow exudes some strong anti-fashion vibes typical of Vetements, not only making us wonder what’s really going on with the fashion house, but also confirming once again that a fashion revolution is floating in the air, indeed. Despite the official statement that the collection was designed by Balenciaga’s in-house team in the interim of Alexander Wang’s departure and Demna Gvasalia’s appointment, this line-up clearly speaks through the clothes, and we can’t help but translate their words into Vetements.
Officially unveiled a few hours ago online, the Balenciaga pre-fall 2016 lookbook features models Stella Tennant, Julia Nobis and Marland Backus, who also walked for the house’s latest fashion shows. Besides flawlessly showcasing all of the proposals, Tennat, Nobis and Backus also managed to personify the line-up’s urban attitude like no one else could before, even putting into emotions Gvasalia’s notorious androgynous style and overall genderless approach to fashion. Throughout their poses (and thanks to the mysterious photographer who captured them), the three talented models also seem to be celebrating Balenciaga’s heritage, namely that of Nicolas Ghesquière.
This collection appears like a well-served combination of both Gvasalia’s and Ghesquière’s influences, as if those at the fashion house’s headquarters wanted to embrace Balenciaga’s glorious past while also subtly giving us a glimpse of its future. Thus each ensemble mixes elements characteristic of both the designers, such as Ghesquière’s sculptural tailoring and sharp aesthetics, and Gvasalia’s street-style allure and oversized silhouettes.
As for the designers’ mutual passion for innovative and ultra-modern materials, the collection fully meets our expectations with its metallic, sleek and furry fabrics, almost looking as if Ghesquière’s pieces were reinterpreted through Gvasalia’s eyes. The collection contains a lot of tailored jackets and coats, relaxed pants and peplum cuts, while also focusing on single revival pieces that are just to die for.
As soon as Balenciaga unveiled its lookbook, most of its international fans couldn’t help but notice a specific shearling aviator jacket, which seemed to be designed by Nicolas Gesquière himself. On the other hand, street-style-inspired detailing such as Balenciaga’s logo branded on the shearling collars and scarves clearly drive us back to the whole Gvasalia-involved speculations, not to mention the oversized hoodies, deconstructed skirts and cropped pants, and especially the floral prints Vetements often channels.
Vichy-check patterns and the few shocking colors inevitably still remind us of Gvasalia too, while the thigh-high sleek boots clearly jutted out from Vetements’ latest shows. Is Balenciaga approaching and dipping into Vetements’ fashion philosophy? We will probably find out the answer in the fashion house’s next collections.
Photos courtesy of Vogue