BALENCIAGA WINTER 20
Balenciaga Winter 20 recontextualizes the structures inherently associated with desire, inverting the values of certain dress codes. The austerity of clerical garb and court robes are interpreted for casual wear. Classical traditions, hardcore aesthetics, and fetishized details are combined and rearranged, mixing business with pleasure.
Neo-gothic dressing looks back and forward at the possibilities of menswear, layering floor-length skirts and caped coats. Bodybuilder “made-to-measure” fits create oversized, anabolic suits for anyone. Sport, religion, obsession, and seduction are stripped of their functions, leaving only the sensation of a fashion object: extravagant, dramatic, erotic, or menacing.
Silhouettes defy convention, accentuating a garment’s technical construction, the body of its wearer, and the space between the two. Exaggerated pagoda shoulders and upright collars are created with technical processes that reinterpret past and present iconography.
The techniques and materials used to make motocross, hockey, or scuba suits inform outfits for every day, softening the hard constructs of protective gear, while the softness of nightgown-like prints and fabrics are pumped up in powerful proportions, quilted, pleated, and layered with jacquard messages. The fictional Balenciaga Football Club places the obsessive quality of team sports in another fanatical context.
Evening streetwear presents minimal, elegant shapes from a patchwork of athletic textures. A modern take on waist-training, stretch materials are thermoformed to create an illusory cinch, eliminating the infrastructure of rigid corsetry. Gala dresses are all inclusive: shoes, gloves, leggings, and gowns in one piece. Body-wear becomes a second skin, at once obscuring and revealing.
A collaboration with Vibram, the Toe and High Toe shoes twist and elevate an ergonomic innovation. Leather thigh high Texan rainboots provide another option for menswear silhouettes, while the Knife shoe reworks elements of lacey lingerie for the feet.
A sturdy Lunchbox clutch, along with crossbody backpacks and bondage wallets with chained wristlets reference other fetish objects; and in celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Classic Balenciaga bag is reimagined, called the Neo Classic.
Balenciaga Summer 20 reimagines dressing for work: power dressing, no matter what one does as a job. Looks transform a wearer in the way a uniform can. Unlike their archetypes, though, garments and accessories are made using un- conventional processes.
New Fashion Uniforms, for example, invent a powerful but convertible shoulder line, while other garments shift a pattern so that seams twist around the body. Seamless Tailoring introduces a new shape for suits in all styles.
The newest Balenciaga sneaker, the Tyrex, is made with a sinuous network of athletic elements to form the silhouette of a classic office shoe. New Trompe L’oeil sets one style against another, creating a familiar archetype with inventive materials.
Super Plissé presses an entire ultra-large garment with pleats. Pillow Parkas are made of lightweight outerwear lined with inflated puffer jackets.
Fetish Gowns are made with negligee-like lace, but in voluminous shapes. Wearable Ballroom dresses reference the couture House’s legacy in contemporary textiles, with removable crinolines, to be worn in any setting. Models of various career tracks interpret and play on beauty standards of today, the past, and the future.
In a wardrobe that mixes casual with evening, the real Parisian of today becomes an emblem. Volume, cut, and material represent the inventiveness and tenacity of a typical city local. Patterns and shapes emblemize common daily activities — grocery shopping, commuting via motorbike, and going out after work.
Suspended shapes allow for shoulders to be shifted upwards or for sleeves to be raised above the shoulders. Incognito collars and hoods on coats, long trenches and robes assume anonymity. Dropped or ring-shaped necklines that rest away from the body also redefine the profile.
Hidden or eliminated closures reflect the Parisian trait of opting to wrap a coat and leave a jacket open. Certain dresses, on the other hand, have many closures, modeled after a double-breasted jacket or trench coat worn with nothing underneath.
Atypical materials, too, represent resourceful intentions. A modern interpretation of the cocoon is made with fake shearling, another with a soft, duvet-like outer. Knee-length kick skirts are made with embroidered tweed and fake leather and insignia shirt are actually knitwear. Jackets rework the articulation of biker sleeves for the purpose of volume. Pants are either cropped or left extra long.
Easy Eveningwear encompasses the idea of wearing something all night after a long day, while At-home Outerwear imagines wearing something all day after a long night. Garments and accessories take the idea of house wear outdoors — a kimono-like robe — or they bring oversaturated symbols of tourism to a more intimate level.
Party dressing introduces still more silhouettes. A new evening set consists of a maxi kaftan shirt and maxi kick skirt in moire silk. A new babydoll dress deconstructs a longer style, reattaching the lower half to the bust line and tagging it with the graffiti that happens to someone who fell asleep at a party. A hand- sewn gown is beaded with curled paillettes, falling delicately around the wearer and continuing into a train.
Throughout the collection, new logotypes intersect with older ones, adding to a growing language. Bags and shoes flare and arch in new directions, balancing between dramatic tension and practicality.