Wonderland.

PFW: BALENCIAGA AW17

Demna Gvasalia reworks Cristóbal’s legacy for Balenciaga AW17.

Tied-Up Tailoring

Demna Gvasalia introduces his third ready-to-wear collection as creative director with a salute to Cristóbal Balenciaga. Seeking inspiration from photographs of Cristóbal’s look books, Gvasalia here adapts his pulled-to-one-side, sweeping style of outerwear from a gesture made by the models. Jackets, duffels, hooded puffers, and even a leopard print coat are all contorted into cape-like creations so to echo this action, the right hand panels pulled across the body and secured over the left shoulder.

All Star Cast

Headlines aside, the line-up that walked Balenciaga’s AW17 catwalk was, for lack of better phrasing, on the epic scale. Bespectacled model Eliza Douglas opened the show – by now almost synonymous with Gvasali’s IRL vision – while elsewhere the show’s stylist Lotta Volkova took her regular slot, industry favourite Julia Nobis did her thing, and the artist Jane Moseley, who made her debut as an exclusive for Balenciaga a year ago, returned a natural. Our highlight? The queen, Alek Wek.

Spare Parts

A new take on the pencil skirt emerged, one in which Gvasalia’s playful design methods have been fully utilised. Here, Gvasalia has transformed a car mat into an elegant wrap-around. The reimagined mats come complete with the textures of the original fabric: silver cross hatching, rippling black rubber, and teal lined with black piping. This repurposing of the everyday is met by Gvasalia’s standout accessory that takes the form of a wing mirror clutch bag.

Return of the Ball Gown

Touching again on the Balenciaga archive, Gvasalia reworked Cristóbal’s original designs to produce a dazzling finale. A magnificent tiered gown in a rich magenta is quickly followed by a sweetheart bodice offset with a giant silk bow; Gvasalia here stays true to Cristóbal’s elegant vision from the 50s, but still manages to incorporate into the voluminous shapes and flouncing taffeta his own contemporary flair, notably with the inclusion of pockets and gigantic tote bags…

Accessories Game On Point

The shoes-cum-leggings-cum-tights look that dominated SS17’s outing and makes a brilliant cameo in Harley Weir’s respective campaign was prevalent again this season, texture altered and palette featuring shades of bright orange and mint green. Earrings meanwhile were stunning, lopsided and hairclip like, brash gold creations, or heavy fabric things. Likewise bags came out as oversized replica’s of the latter eveningwear display, petite leather objects carried on the side or midsize and doubled, held two at a time.

Words
Rosanna Dodds
PFW: BALENCIAGA AW17

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