It’s been a busy couple of years for Demna Gvasalia. While the stratospheric rise of his Vetements brand has been well documented, today’s Balenciaga show (his second menswear show as creative director) provided Gvasalia with an opportunity to showcase a different side to his style.
In a venue plastered in a monotonous grey – complete with dull blinds that wouldn’t look out of place in a call centre – Gvasalia’s collection provided an odd subversion to a very executive collection.
Overcoats, shirts and blazers came in a range of colours, including plain greys and brown checks. Branding was predominant within the collection, with a main talking point being a Bernie Sanders inspired design and the prominence of the Kering logo on hoodies and coats.
In doing so, Gvasalia presented the not-so-glamourous side of the industry for all to see – showcasing the reality that the luxury fashion industry is made up of conglomerates chasing quarterly growth, rather than alluding to the traditional image of master ateliers crafting beautiful clothing by hand. In this way, the honesty and playfulness of the collection really shone through.
The odd choice towards the branding was a theme that ran through much of the collection. In typical Gvasalia fashion, jackets were oversized, proportions were played with and silhouettes were twisted to create a recognisable but eery working wardrobe.
Personally, one of the highlights of the show were the trainers – which are sure to be a hit with the Vetements crowd. Dad-trainers are enjoying a particular resurgence at the moment – especially with the popularity of Raf Simons’ Ozweego 2s and Nike’s AirMax 95 – and the Balenciaga sneakers definitely compliment this trend.