From the earlobe-grazing blazers in Demna Gvasalia’s new exaggerated tailoring proposition, to the Lunchbox clutch and “FiveFingers” shoe style created in collaboration with Vibram, here are five key things to know about Balenciaga’s fall/winter 2020 collection.
The set was apocalyptic
Finding our way to our seats at Balenciaga this morning was perilous business. It was pitch black, there were steps to navigate and all we could make out as a runway was a vast pool of water, which took on a menacing shade of inky black in the darkness. The first two rows of seating were all but submerged. Excruciating music reverberated, the lights came up and cloud graphics moved quickly overhead. That digital weather system moved from racing clouds to an impressive murmuration of starlings, to an apocalyptic storm to a fiery sunset. The scenes placed a different mood on every stage of the collection, which itself moved from an all-black opening of 14 looks towards finally some colour – purple, pink, and bright green.
Power suiting doubled up as anti-contamination devices
Balenciaga has a lot to say when it comes to boardroom power suits. The house has become every fashion editor’s go-to for sharp chic tailoring lately, so what does Demna Gvasalia have to say now? Blow up the shoulders. Up, up, up and out. All the way to the earlobes. The show notes said the exaggerated shape is created with “technical processes that reinterpret past and present iconography”. The other good thing about those shoulders? Anti-contamination. Others can’t get within 2ft of you. Ideal for shielding against coronavirus, then.
The Neo Classic bag is a surefire bestseller
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Classic Balenciaga bag (it’s almost impossible to conceive that it can be that old), Gvasalia has created the Neo Classic, a larger, sharper-edged tote style. It’s a winner. So too the new Lunchbox bag, fashioned on – you guessed it – a primary school kid’s lunchbox. The appearance of which was the collection’s first bolt of colour, red, which accessorised the 12th all-black look.
There’s a new “ugly” shoe to love
Over Crocs? Fear not. There is a new rubber shoe to covet. Balenciaga collaborated with Vibram, the Italian shoe manufacturer named after its founder, Vitale Bramani, inventor of the first rubber lug sole. Gvasalia had designs on the company’s famous FiveFingers style originally intended for outdoor activities like sailing, kayaking, and canoeing; super practical then for a water-logged runway.
Throw your support behind Balenciaga FC
Balenciaga FC players splashed down the runway wearing full football kits in red, black, navy and fluorescent yellow. “Footballers and priests were what I grew up with in Georgia,” Gvasalia told British Vogueof why he had thrown the storied house full pelt into the sportswear arena. Five-a-side never looked more appealing.
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk