AAMITO LAGUM (VIVA)
BALENCIAGA FALL 2015
"The society women, the aristocrats, the regal women." Alexander Wang said he started working on his new Balenciaga collection by thinking about Cristóbal's original clientele.
Not only them, but also the customers today, and how they want their opulence served up with a little subversion.
ANNA EWERS (WOMEN)
To set the tone, the show began with a performance by Lady Gaga, who stalked down the runway, hands on waist and hips a-swinging, a pair of photographers catching the whole thing on tape.
LEXI BOLING (FORD)
Wang's shapes were straight out of the archives: a cocoon coat, rounded jackets with stand-up collars, bubble skirts—all of it decorated to the hilt with paste jewelry, like the ladies would've done back in the day, only with the real stuff.
In most cases, the fabrics remained quite couture, like nubby tweeds, windowpane checks. It was the details that gave the clothes the edge Wang was talking about: Metal staples lined the diagonal seams of skirts, black leather belts stood in for proper collars, and tiny razor blades were sutured together to create the fitted shirt of the finale dress.
MOLLY BAIR (ELITE)
ISSA LISH (PREMIUM)
For every fur collar there was another one made from wire rings linked together. Many of the looks, cocktail dresses included, were paired with flat boots.
Nicolas Ghesquière did his own archival collection at Balenciaga almost a decade ago. It's not fair to endlessly compare Wang to Ghesquière, but coming second in this revival story, it's not a fate he'll soon escape.
Anyway, choosing to go in this direction for Fall indicates it's a fate he's accepted. But tonight Wang's version of the story fell short. The risk of choosing stuffy old icons as a jumping-off point is that you may not manage to knock all the stuffing out.
The hobble skirts proved pretty tricky for a few of the models, and a sense of heaviness pervaded. Mary Blume, a Balenciaga biographer, remarked that Balenciaga's silhouettes were "made for a living, moving, avid body." The one here that fit that bill best was a strapless peplum bustier, its neckline trimmed in mink, accompanied by cigarette pants with staples up the sides.
EDIE CAMPBELL (VIVA)
MICA ARGANARAZ (VIVA)
KATLIN ASS (IMG)
HANNE GABY ODIELE (IMG)
GRACE BOL (OUI)
VANESSA MOODY (WOMEN)
ANNIKA KRIJT (ELITE)
PHOTOS COURTESY STYLE.COM