Balenciaga: Ready-to-wear AW17
Did Demna have a bit of a thing about items you step on this season? Things that tend to lie underfoot? First hint was that carpet, which you’ve probably seen already, unless on some sort of self-imposed media blackout, printed with the house’s name and stretching across the vast 5000-foot space. And then in the collection itself there were these car mats. You know, those rubber things that sit on the floor beneath the driver’s seat? Here, Demna handily refashioned them into skirts, wrapped around the model’s waists, or, alternatively, hung from the back of Eighties silk blouses, refastened at the front. And this feeling of fastening continued with the outerwear (moving on from things you step on here – that would be sacrilege), the way that they were pinned on one shoulder, looking like they’d been fastened through the wrong button, inspired by archival lookbook images where the models were draped in fabric. And so too into the hallowed archives for the crescendo – the ten or so incredible gowns, drawn squarely from Cristobal’s original couture creations – the babydoll trapeze dress, here in thickly striped black-and-white, warped through its hefty size or the gown that echoed the Balenciaga wedding dress, egg-shaped in skirt and accompanied with a purse with couture number on in. Moire silk gowns that descended into ruffles, an incredible ostrich moment, complete with matching bag, that seemed to float down the catwalk or Alek Wek’s giant bow. A rattle through Balenciaga past, present and future. It was a riot.
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans