Balenciaga : SS17

As of late, designer Demna Gvasalia is one of the most influential people occupying the fashion realm. Demna Gvasalia is a thirty-four-year-old Georgian who trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp in Belgium. Though much of Gevalia’s work has been in challenged, many would agree Gvasalia is creating clothing for the future. If you look to Gevalia’s creative direction during his tenure at Maison Martin Margiela or Louis Vuitton, you quickly gain an understanding of Gevalia’s efforts to shift the fashion paradigm and make truly original garments.

Currently, he is acting as creative director of Balenciaga and head designer of elements. Given, his newly appointed role as Balenciaga’s art director, Gvasalia is twice as likely to be scrutinized. This spring twenty seventeen, Balenciaga is tackling fashion fetishism. Balenciaga spring show, held at the Rue Saint-Honoré in France did not shy away from the physicalities associated with fetishism. While mixing retro styling with the recent bad taste trend that has captured main stream fashion through Gevalia’s brand Vetements, Balenciaga gave enthusiast a new vista. Elevating an ordinarily shiny PVC boot to an attractive tall PVC slouched boots is quite the assignment for any fashion designer. Pairing this boot with a duckbill toe and squared heel back is an even tougher task. In one way or another, Gevalia has made this, ‘bad taste trend’ pretty appealing.

Much of Balenciaga’s history is involves redefining silhouettes and masculine/feminine details. Balenciaga’s progressive attitude towards broad shoulders, oversized coating, and shirt fabrics was fantastic. As observers watched the stunning models grace the catwalk, it was instantly self-evident that Balenciaga was intentionally giving off more leg than a synchronized swimming event. A few looks gave attendees a big dose of long-legged stretchy spandex stirrup pants which made it impossible to focus one’s attention on other details.

To take such an erotic concept and push the boundaries of what is acceptable in modern high-end fashion, yet keep the collection ground in street wear practicality, it is no wonder why Gevalia’s influence is so grand.

James Buford

James D. Buford is a fashion commentator, writer, fashion designer, and musician-producer based in Portland, Oregon. You can follow more of his images and words on  Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

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