Gvasalia’s latest for Balenciaga raised questions whether he had finally overdone it. Sure, we loved it when he invented Vetements’ power hoodies, or when he revived the allure of spandex with the fetishistic Balenciaga collection last season — but when he pushed the buttoning of coats and jackets to the shoulder (confused? refer to Look 1 all the way to Look 6) or referred “car culture” (Look 14 had a glinting silver car mat as a skirt) as inspiration for FW2017, we have to say doubts were certainly aroused.
“I went through almost 30 years of photographs of Cristóbal’s lookbooks, and in many of them the models were clutching their coats like this,” Gvasalia elucidated of the off-kilter styling. This gesture was incorporated literally into the design, but would it work this time? The off-shoulder, half-zipped styling of puffers from the runway of previous season made dominating rounds within the street style set and beyond, even when their outerwear labels don’t spell Balenciaga.
The latter part of the outtake showcased couture-esque looks threaded with the historical inheritance of Balenciaga as an homage to the house’s 100th year milestone. Having flipped through never-before-seen photos of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s original haute couture lookbooks hidden in the sacred archives, Gvasalia juxtaposed the olden-day volume and drama with matching oversized bags and jarring skin-tight boots. Honestly, it’s a lot of ‘referenced’ looks from the past but not a lot of originality on Gvasalia’s part.