Friday 26th May

| BY Joel Traptow

Ten Looks: Balenciaga Through The Ages

Some might say it’s sacrilegious to reduce an entire fashion house’s history to ten looks. Not us. We are 10. So we will pick 10. House in question is Balenciaga, for which we are having a bit of a manic moment thanks to the V&A’s new exhibition, Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, which opens on Saturday here in London town. Perfect timing we say – under Demna Gvasalia the house has defined what everybody is wearing, now. So enjoy a whittle through Balenciaga past and present – from Cristobal himself to Demna, and those who came between. Note: these are my personal favourites. Take it up with me if you have an issue.

Collection unknown

Still incredibly modern – we start a bit full circle because here you can see the exact codes that both Demna Gvasalia, as well as Nicolas Ghesquiere before him, have mined for their own genius interpretations of the house.

 

Archive

 

Winter 1957

AKA the creation of the iconique high-waisted baby doll dress. Wah!

 

Winter1957

 

Summer 1960 

A classic Cristobal evening dress in stiff duchess satin, shown here in one of his infamous fittings photographs.

 

Summer1960

 

Spring 2003

I like to tell people Balenciaga was my first fashion word. It made my pre-teen heart all of a flutter – I was nine when this collection came out, and the pop goddess Kylie Minogue wore this saucy dress in her “Slow” music video. To this day I still act out that video whenever I get a sniff of a beach towel.

 

SS2003

 

Spring 2006

The signature baby doll presented the Ghesquiere way – light and airy – perfect for a fairy like me.

 

SS2006

 

Spring 2009 

An absolute standout from Nicolas Ghesquiere’s time at the helm – the codes presented here in space-age, otherworldly form. Those alien tight boots? ICONIC.

 

SS2009

 

Fall 2007

The lego heel is THE only shoe I’ve ever cried over, in a collection that explored a more tailored side of the house.

 

AW2007

 

Fall 2015

Alexander Wang’s run at the house may of been short but this collection was the house codes made modern and very WANG.

 

AW15

 

Fall 2016

This was the first taste of the incredible Demna Gvasalia, who re-lit the Balenciaga fire with a collection that played with the house’s original tailoring, creating a collection that was entirely modern. We were gagged.

 

AW16

 

Fall 2017

The latest offering from the incredible Demna Gvasalia – here, to close the show, he recreated Cristobal’s masterful couture looks, adding pockets and matching Bazar bags. Because as the old adage goes: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

 

AW2017

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion is on at the V&A from 27th May to 18th February 2018 

www.vam.ac.uk