Paris Women’s Fashion Week F/W 2019 Part 3: Balenciaga
The fashion marathon is nearing its end and some of the hottest brands are providing one highlight after another.
Balenciaga is no longer the red-hot brand it was when Demna Gvasalia first took over the historic house. But it’s growing and growing and has become the next billion dollar brand in the Kering stable. No surprise then that at Sunday morning’s show at the outskirts of Paris in St. Denis not only François-Henri Pinault was present but also his father François who makes rather rare appearances at the group’s catwalks and is more likely to show up for a football match of Stade Rennes when they visit Paris. But all the more a testament to how important Balenciaga is regarded within the family and a big sign of respect for Gvasalia. And he did not disappoint. Seemingly switching up a gear and broadening his repertoire, he presented an elevated and elegant collection of inventive tailoring which he dedicated to the city of Paris. He introduced a new ring-shaped neckline, which made the clothes look like the hovered over the bodies, and underlined his dedication to introduce his own tailoring inventions for the house and not just stand for the big shoulder era he ushered in with his first shows. With an excellent thriving soundtrack and genuinely new silhouettes, this show marked a new grown-up era at this house, which became a commercial juggernaut with its sweatshirts, denims and sneakers. He truly is a master of upgrading a conventional look.
Gvasalia’s jackets with an exaggerated Neapolitan tuck shoulder are drawing the eye to this broadest point of the body and allow him to anchor his new silhouette. Without buttons and mostly worn with contrasting color turtlenecks the new suiting looked like it could walk from the catwalk into a serious board meeting. Also, his double-sleeve short-long men’s shirt was a new design within his Balenciaga canon.
“Now that I live in Switzerland and spend less time here, I have found a new love for Paris and really wanted to show this today. The way a woman wears or wraps a coat around herself is unique to Paris and so I completely avoided using buttons,” explained a black-clad Gvasalia post show to the press mob around him. The Eiffel Tower also showed up on the right chest instead of a logo.
Dressed in a black floor-sweeping coat himself, Gvasalia prefers his silhouette to be as long as possible as in all his ankle-length men’s and women’s coats like out door puffers or fine wool versions.
The female form?
Introducing his new lampshade-round neckline on flowing pleated dresses and blouses worn with A-line skirts was the home run of this collection.
From street to sex?
The black patent leather coats and all black leather sculptural jackets all had a nice subversive sex edge to them.
The Eiffel Tower?
Already last season, Balenciaga featured Eiffel Tower applications while in this show it was used as print and even as jewelry. But what was the most stunning, some of the sweatshirts and bags looked like they were appropriated from the tourist merchandise the African vendors sell around the Parisian landmark.