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Balenciaga SS17
Balenciaga SS17Courtesy of Balenciaga

What happened at Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga menswear debut

In a stellar show, the agenda-setting designer sought to ‘define and assert new men’s silhouettes through tailoring’

In February, Vetements designer Demna Gvasalia unveiled his first collection for Balenciaga. It was an important moment in fashion – one where the spirit of Paris’ underground was manifested within the hallowed halls of one of the city’s most historic houses. Enlisting many of his collaborators to model the collection, the line was – in the designer’s words – “a translation, not a reiteration” of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s design signatures.

Today, at a school in Paris’s 7th arrondissement, this vision translated into men’s clothing – for the first time. “A man’s counterpart to heritage of women’s haute couture is the tradition of bespoke tailoring,” opened the show notes, which went onto state Gvasalia’s mission to “define and assert new men’s silhouettes through tailoring.”

That’s exactly what he did: create a new men’s silhouette. Backstage the designer explained how the first look comprised of an unfinished jacket he had unearthed in Balenciaga’s archives. He finished this jacket and sent it out first, as something of a symbolic gesture. The designer continued to riff on the house’s founder’s architectural silhouettes, playing with their proportions – expanding them and shrinking them.

Stay tuned for a more in-depth show review