The Balenciaga Houndstooth Coat Spring/Summer 2018

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It’s difficult to reconcile the work of Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia with that of Balenciaga when viewing the Spring/Summer 2018 runway. That’s because the brand’s current creative director wanted to distance himself from the founder’s work to better bring things back in line with the times. Last week, a very Gvasalia-esque collection bore the new Balenciaga torch. In Saint Denis, inside a darkened hangar, the label’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection went down the runway in a rather disturbing atmosphere. “It represents the era we’re living in. For me it’s dark, it’s very mystical, it’s dangerous. I wanted the music to be dangerous, to evoke the feeling that something is on the cusp of happening. Since fashion is the reflection of the era we live in,” explained the creative director.

Within this stylistic mix and match, the legendary houndstooth coat, the icon of Balenciaga style in the 50s, is getting reinvented in delectable new proportions. Its couture spirit breaks with the rest of the collection that seems to shun the very idea, style, and attitude of the Parisian bourgeoisie. This off-kilter spirit has an echo in the attitude developed by the Georgian designer; with a confrontation of colors, fabrics, and styles, the Balenciaga look by Gvasalia confronts different visions of the bourgeoisie. “I wanted it to speak to things I like, things I attribute value to. It’s a juxtaposition because we looked at a lot of pictures illustrating how the bourgeoisie dresses in different places.”

While the bourgeoisie may suddenly be taking on streetwear, tackiness, and uncertain mix and match pairings, this coat still incarnates the eternal aura of Cristobal Balenciaga. While several retrospectives have been dedicated to him, this piece for Spring/Summer 2018 in Paris demonstrates that the values of fashion remain loyal to the tweed chic of a houndstooth print.

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