The moment everyone has been waiting for: Balenciaga’s return to haute couture under the helm of Demna Gvasalia. It’s been 53 years since the fashion house has taken part in Paris Haute Couture Week – setting high expectations for one of the coolest designers alive. We’ve listed the best looks and everything you need to know.
Cover photo: courtesy of Balenciaga
Balenciaga haute couture
Today marked the first time since the founder’s life – and closure of the atelier in 1968 – that Balenciaga presents an haute couture show. What’s also new is that its haute couture collection includes men. A select group of fashion editors and celebrities like Kanye West, Anna Wintour, Edward Enninful, Lewis Hammilton and Bella Hadid gathered in Cristobal Balenciaga’s salon, redecorated for the occasion.
With no sound other than the models’ footsteps and some whispering from the audience, models entered the space covered in black suits, focussing on silhouette. It hinted to Mr. Balenciaga himself, who usually opened with black looks as well. As the show progressed, looks got more exuberant and over-exaggerated. Sculptural lines, out of proportion shapes and daring ensembles dominated. On the contrary, there were some classic dresses, referencing to Cristobal Balenciaga’s earlier work. In later looks, faux fur jackets were worn together with wide jeans, creating a world of contrast Gvasalia that became his signature over the years.
Right after the example of Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta, Demna Gvasalia wiped out Balenciaga’s Instagram account, making place for solely couture looks. It sets the tone for a new course the fashion house will follow. In an interview with WWD, the creative director explained it has an educational value. Wiping out the account is a way to emphasize the couture collection and therefore the history of the house. According to him, many current clients think the fashion house started with the Triple S sneaker. It puts the spotlight on what is most important to fashion; and that is – of course – haute couture.
Also read: References to rock ‘n’ roll and La Belle Époque: discover the Chanel haute couture Fall/Winter 2021 collection