It’s the talk of town during Paris Haute Couture Week: Balenciaga is returning to Haute Couture. The label that hasn’t been producing this type of fashion since the late ’60s, when Cristobal himself was head of his namesake label. Why did Demna Gvasalia make this decision?
Cristobal Balenciaga shut his haute couture atelier back in 1968. Since then, there hasn’t been a designer at the fashion house re-opening this atelier. Perhaps they missed the courage, but certainly Demna Gvasalia doesn’t. As he told in a statement:
“Haute couture is the very foundation of this house, so it is my creative and visionary duty to bring couture back. For me, couture is an unexplored mode of creative freedom and a platform for innovation. It not only offers another spectrum of possibilities in dressmaking, it also brings the modern vision of Balenciaga back to its sources of origin.”
Back in the days, Cristóbal Balenciaga was called “the master of us all” by no one less than Christian Dior. It therefore isn’t that strange that Gvasalia returns to the roots of the fashion house. Since his entrance in 2015, Gvasalia has been studying the history of the label, including its rich past full of couture. While Gvasalia put the label back on the map with the Triple S sneakers, oversized puffers and big logos that were endlessly copied by fast fashion labels. The designer is known for his ability to make things uncomfortable and fascinating at the same moment. With last season’s show at Paris Fashion Week, he shook things up with alien-like models and garments that were simply out of proportion.
Now, the creative director is taking the label to a higher level. He hired an entire team devoted to this new couture line. In the same press release, CEO Cedric Charbit adds: “This project was possible due to the success of the creative vision of Demna Gvasalia as well as the exceptional results of Balenciaga these past few years.” He adds: “We’re a French house, we belong to Paris. We have to do our job so Paris couture, the craftsmanship, the people, the houses… we have to keep this alive.”
We’re very excited for what the future will bring us.