Balenciaga's Strong Silhouettes for Fall 2019

Balenciaga's Strong Silhouettes for Fall 2019

The clothes were the main event on this stripped down runway.

The clothes were the main event on this stripped down runway.

Text: Zoe Elefterin

Demna Gvasalia’s latest collection for Balenciaga was a lesson in masterfully crafted, innovative, and beautiful fashion. Not only was his signature irony subtly injected, timeless silhouettes were refreshingly prevalent in nearly every look. The boldness of the collection was complemented by impeccable tailoring.

The show was situated in the Saint-Denis suburb on the margins of Paris, a neighborhood that isn’t exactly a tourist destination. An area that has been home to riots and terrorist attacks, the setting was not pushing towards the uncanny surreality that Gvasalia has come to embrace. It was much more minimal, focused on the clothing that contrasted the black box room. There was pungent smell of freshly poured asphalt was inescapable, a reference to the Parisian Balenciaga shopper and an ode to the grit of the city itself.

The clothes made their appearances in a strobe-lit room, seemingly flashing along with the music at times, and at other times going wild, presenting the clothing in a slightly uncomfortable and off-kilter flash storm.

Everything felt rather minimal. The colors began relatively understated; there were luxe, black tailored suits and 80’s style strong-shouldered long jackets in herringbone patterns and camel colored fabrics. Then, the structured silhouettes vibrated in silky reds, blues, neon pinks and yellows. Some looks were styled with multiple leather totes that resembled shopping bags, perhaps another reference to the Paris shopper–co-ed, of course. Menswear and womenswear became one in this collection, similar to the erasure of seasonal-specific clothing as well.

The classic oversized Balenciaga silhouette was visible throughout in the form of puffer jackets, long, classic blue jeans and more. Interestingly, there was no sign of a dad sneaker, which was a fresh take as the collection leaned away from streetwear and focused more on the modernized legacy of Cristóbal Balenciaga.

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