Monday 4th March

| BY Claudia Croft

Balenciaga: Ready-To-Wear AW19

Sometimes you just love a show. That’s how it was for us at Balenciaga. You’ll probably read a lot of moaning (on other channels) about the darkness of the show space and the choking the smell of the freshly laid Tarmac catwalk, but, frankly, those are minor details. What we loved (L.O.V.E.D) were the clothes.

Whereas other designers rely on surface and decoration, Demna Gvasalia brings it back to the line – a tradition at the house. He has created the ultimate modern wardrobe and it all stems from stellar silhouettes. Broadly shouldered coats belted macs with sculptural, stand-up collars (they called them incognito collars), blazer dresses, belted stripper macs, a double-breasted grey trouser suit with no visible fastening that felt modern, not corporate. Jackets had suspended shoulders which lifted the line away from the body. Knits had vase necks. Enveloping duvet coats reached all the way to the floor.

A blouse which fell to the floor at the front was tucked into sharp-cut trousers at the back for a modern take on cocktail dressing. The precision of the cuts, the decisiveness of the line, the power of the shoulders made for a show that felt as shoppable as it was definitive. The show’s dim lights weren’t to everyone’s tastes. One esteemed critic was heard booing. No, we couldn’t see the decoration, but we could see the silhouette. Perhaps that was the point.

Photographs by Jason-Lloyd Evans.