For his Balenciaga debut, Demna Gvasalia went straight to the source for direction, the singular vision of Cristóbal Balenciaga, bypassing the house’s two most recent creative directors.
Specifically, Gvasalia reimagined “couture attitudes,” as he called them in the show notes, essentially recreating that which most defined the couturier — his sculpted approach. Cocoon shapes, deep-Vs, a bit of padding at the hip, and bunches of fabric kicked forward at the knee alluded to the drama of midcentury couture. Yet they were given a contemporary spin, as in the use of denim jackets and nylon parkas, as well as half-tucked men’s shirting and shapeless floral scarf dresses.
While not a genre-redefining, convention-breaking new look, the kind promised by Gvasalia’s cult-followed Vetements label, the collection at least laid the groundwork for one.