In just four seasons, Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia has taken the brand from French aristocracy to the ultimate cool kid staple.
After much success with his Vetements line, Gvasalia, who hails from Soviet Georgia, was recruited to take the place of Alexander Wang as creative director for Balenciaga. His first collection for fall 2016 was met with rave reviews as he single-handedly made oversized coats and denim jackets popular amongst celebrities and us regular folks alike. For his pre-fall 2017 collection, Gvasalia looked to his first couple of seasons for inspiration. The first image, a top coat with square shoulders and exaggerated hips, was reminiscent of his first collection. The look that first introduced us to Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga, was a skirt suit in which the jacket had square shoulders and exaggerated hips.
Another popular item making a comeback are those ubiquitous “pantashoes”. Who knew having your shoes connected to your pants would be such a hot item? But perhaps that’s why Gvasalia has been so successful. Having made his rounds in Paris working behind the scenes for big brands such as Maison Martin Margiela as well as Louis Vuitton, Gvasalia saw first hand how to target what people want and how to sell it. This could explain how his Balenciaga baseball caps, at $400 a pop, became an instant staple of the brand.
Speaking of instant staples, Gvasalia’s eye for it accessories can only be described as uncanny. His pre-fall 2017 presentation also saw the return of his large supermarket bags. Past collections has seen these bags in every design, from being covered in feathers to a sort of Faberge motif. These bags, to the surprise of many, has adorned the shoulders of fashionistas from downtown New York to Moscow, Russia.
The true talent of Gvasalia is how he is able to take the Balenciaga archives and rearrange them in a way to fit the modern day customer. He has successfully been able to start a movement, first with his Vetements line and now with Balenciaga. His pre-fall 2017 collection will no doubt be another knotch his ever growing catalogue of hits.