The Paris Fashion Week show that everyone was waiting for was Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga debut. On March 6th, the designer took over the famous fashion house from Alexander Wang. He definitely gave people something to talk about. Gvasalia mined Cristóbal Balenciaga’s archives to understand the famed designer’s way of working with the female body, concentrating on creating certain angles and postures. Balenciaga’s influence was felt in the dramatic proportions of the collection. Ski jackets were given sharp collars and powersuits got the tell tale padded hips. Gvasalia also made sure to inject his own vision into the runway, while angles were out there, at their true cores, the garments were ordinary and street-ready, much like the clothes Gvasalia showed at Vetements, the fashion collective that put him on the map. Puffer jackets, sweater dresses, trench coats, and mid-length skirts all were quite wearable. The conception of the Balenciaga collection also echoed the methods Gvasalia used to plan the coveted high fashion/streetwear hybrid label. He did not use sketches to plan Vetements or Balenciaga, but instead started with a list of clothing objects to be included. It wasn’t only the ideas that merged on both runways but the models as well, the same girls walked both shows, which made for an interesting exercise in comparing and contrasting.

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