When Vetements mastermind and fashion’s man of the moment, Demna Gvasalia, was appointed as Balenciaga’s artistic director, it was evident that the revered French house was heading on a mission to shake things up with a tough, new ‘tude. Fast forward a year, things have been shaken up indeed. Tearing rule books apart and serving retooled streetwear with his now-familiar post-luxury ethos, Balenciaga is revolutionised with a cultish devil-may-care spirit not unlike the one inhabiting Vetements.
Take the rebellious initiator’s spring/summer 2017 Balenciaga collection: All garish spandex and ‘70s kitsch — yet illuminating brightly in its fluorescent hues. No one saw it coming, but it served its purpose in challenging the norms of high fashion with flair. So when fashion photography ingenue Harley Weir was picked to lens the collection’s campaign, a perfect match was made.
Known for her youth-infused, often intimate visuals, Weir takes on the fetishistic assortment theatrically alongside stylist Lotta Volkova and her taste for brash flashes. Balenciaga’s muses — or rather, Gvasalia’s — the likes of Alek Wek, Shujing Zhou and Eliza Douglas are shot up against silky curtains, evoking a somewhat David Lynch-basked allure. It’s safe to say that head-to-toe spandex, print-on-print florals and blue IKEA plastic bags have never looked cooler. Debuting a week before the Paris men’s shows where Gvasalia will showcase his second menswear collection for Balenciaga, we’ll be waiting with bated breaths to see what next up his oversized sleeves.