Balenciaga’s runways have long been the occasion for reinventions. In the Nicolas Ghesquière era and now up to the Demna Gvasalia days, the label’s star pieces have always been reinvented with new avant-garde flair. For next season, the brand’s 100th anniversary, everything begins with a gesture – a gesture taken from archive photos. The creative director noticed how much Balenciaga women love to strut around with their coat or jacket over one shoulder. So he put the upper buttons on the shoulder for a “very Madame, very retro” feel in the words of Gvasalia himself. And so, the garment is constructed around this point of gravity to yield a brand new way of wearing it, inspired by more contemporary horizons.
Three decades of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s archives were explored to imagine this Fall/Winter 2017-2018 collection. Since Demna Gvasalia is here to turn the rules upside down and innovate garments rather than fashions, it’s almost reassuring to discover couture skirts that almost look like they’re made of car floormats. “A fusion between elegance and modernity”, he said upon conclusion of his runway. The volumes are swung round, twisted, and turned, but the archives guide this exploration all along as the designer ended up adopting the iconic pieces in Balenciaga’s wardrobe.
Little by little, the alchemy between this sociologist designer and the couture house seems to take shape in a very interesting way. The star piece of this runway is the satin Baby Doll dress, fluid and maximal as it reveals its desirability. This attitude is in line with the times, leaning towards a revolution in ambient classicism. This is surely an icon of tomorrow.