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Balenciaga SS20 show Demna Gvasalia PFW

Balenciaga will present its first Couture collection in 50 years this July

The label’s creative director Demna Gvasalia has decided to return to Couture for the AW20 season

With this year’s first round of Haute Couture shows kicking off in Paris today, esteemed luxury house Balenciaga has announced it will be presenting its first Couture show in Paris after 50 years this July.

Having not produced a Couture collection since its founder Cristóbal Balenciaga shut the doors to his atelier in 1968, the brand’s current creative director, Demna Gvasalia, has decided to reopen this section of the label for the AW20 season. 

“Haute Couture is the very foundation of this house, so it is my creative and visionary duty to bring couture back,” Gvasalia said in a statement. “For me, Couture is an unexplored mode of creative freedom and a platform for innovation. It not only offers another spectrum of possibilities in dressmaking, but it also brings the modern vision of Balenciaga back to its sources of origin.”

Stepping back from his own label Vetements this past September – the fashion brand presented its first show without Gvasalia at the helm this Friday – it seems the designer is channelling all of his energy into Balenciaga from here on out. 

With the creative bringing in a fresh perspective to the legendary fashion house since joining it in 2015, Gvasalia’s take on Couture is likely to be pretty subversive. His last show, for SS20, offered a hint of what may be to come, through the structured, sculpted gowns that closed it. 

And although we are gaining one new designer to the Couture schedule, it follows the news that one of its most iconic visionaries is leaving, with legendary designer Jean Paul Gaultier revealing his next show, taking place in Paris this Wednesday (January 22), will be his last.