Balenciaga: Menswear AW17
A treatise on ‘Corporate Dressing’ was the notion behind Demna Gvasalia’s second Balenciaga menswear collection, for winter 2017. But don’t think McDonald’s uniforms, rather the uniforms of the corporate raiders of the eighties – sharp business suits flecked with power pinstripes in red, or tramline straight coats to the floor with strong tailored shoulders. It’s not something Gvasalia has done much of before Balenciaga – a suit at Vetements, his other label that’s currently setting the fashion pace, is generally crumpled and rumpled. These cut a sharp swathe. But look under the coats and there’s something kinky going on – Gvasalia dressed his men in nothing but stockings – yes – under those long coats, and heavy biker boots. Try and imagine the storyline behind a city boy trudging out in that get-up? If suits sound conservative, here they were anything but – rather a was for Balenciaga too explore bold proportion and provocative juxtaposition, through the garment we most regularly expect on a men’s catwalk. But it wasn’t just abut the suit. Gvasalia also reappropriated corporate logos – the one that caused a frisson of anergy through the room was the bicolour wave graphic that accompanied the campaign of democratic nominee Bernie Sanders, embroidered across bombers and blousons but reading ‘Balenciaga 2017’. Even the logo of Balenciaga’s parent house Kering appeared across the backs of coats, a witty in-joke typical of Gvasalia’s sense of humour.