Balenciaga’s Demna Gvsalia is one of a few young designers that are slowly changing the way we view fashion. Rather than churn out a collection that differs dramatically from any previous season, his ranges tend to develop ideas and motifs creating a continuity throughout the varying seasons. This is more than just establishing a style, this is literally seeing the same shoe from one collection in the following. Alessandro Michele is doing the same for Gucci and the criticism of each can be that what they do can feel repetitive. However, surely this slower pace can only be positive, and truly, more reflective of how we wear clothing?
For fall, Gvsalia’s standout spandex stocking-boots made a reappearance and underpinned the collection, their bright colours adding a pop in what was a muted colour palette. The range opened with a selection of asymmetric fastened jackets and coats, an idea that came after trawling through the Balenciaga archives and seeing models throughout the ages posing and pulling their garments to one side. Gvsalia transformed this action into a material product creating a dramatic, if not slightly awkward silhouette. Undone however, the lopsided cut drapes and becomes voluminous on one side, again challenging usual cut techniques and adding an attitude of nonchalance. This pulled in, over sized nature was taken through to pencil skirts that were cut large at the waist creating a loop that hung down at one side, and also into the shirting that was cinched in with leather cummerbunds.
As with his Vetements brand, items were re-appropriated into garments. Having just purchased a car, motoring influences edged into the collection with wing-mirror clutch bags, diamante belt-buckle earrings and most strikingly, car mats reassigned as pencil skirts. This kind of thing could feel overworked or tried, however Gvsalia’s trick is that somehow it always comes across as cool, a skill that makes his work so appealing and engaging.
To cap off the range, Gvsalia showcased nine couture dresses in honour of the 100th anniversary (below). Once again, references came from delving into the Balenciaga archives retrieving some of Cristóbal Balenciaga's ground breaking designs. For these Gvsalia aimed to keep purity of design adding only modern touches in the form of pockets and matching bags. The result was a dramatic finale of billowing silhouettes, feathers and flounces that only confirmed Gvsalia as a design force to be reckoned with.