Balenciaga: Ready-to-wear SS17
To quote from the hymn sheet of Talking Heads… ”Psycho Killer. Qu’est-ce que c’est? Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far…” Not that Balenciaga have decided to base their SS17 collection on a psycho killer. I think we can all assume that John Wayne Gacy’s mugshot wasn’t stuck to the mood board, but the shoulders, so big, bulky, and square have just the tiniest whiff of David Byrne about them. Which begs the question, if you were, like us, to read the press release, was David Byrne straddling the fine line between couture and fetishism? Hmm, maybe not. But the collection was. It was, to be honest, a celebration of Spandex. Think of this as Balenciaga straddling that fine line between high art and low end, slightly dirty stripper g-string. And as with all things Demna, there’s a slight Eastern European of a certain era, the eighties, undertone about this. Something vaguely familiar, in that you had to be there and grow up around it type thing that feels oddly familiar and comfortable. Clashing wallpaper prints, eighties body con in the form of lycra, boxy and oddly fitting silhouettes have a sense of behind the Iron Curtain trying to be Western about it. Draped and power-shouldered Dynasty tops, supersized puffa gilets. There’s something about the awkwardness, the ill-fittingness of the silhouette that, when married with the idea of couture, looks so wrong yet feels so right.
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans