Are You a Balenciaga Boy?

Do you wear oversized jackets with elongated boxy shoulders? Do you wear to-the-knee, reasonably high-heeled boots? Do they meet the hems of tight shorts? Does it look like you've put on your dad's smart going-to-work clothes as a kid and are wearing them far better than he ever could? If the answer is yes to these, then, congratulations, you’ve passed the test and you may consider yourself a Balenciaga boy, part of the Demna team.

 


The Balenciaga menswear Spring/Summer 2017 show, Paris, by Régis Colin-Berthelier for NOWFASHION

 

It's not often that so much anticipation surrounds a debut menswear show. That pastime is usually reserved for the hysteria of womenswear. But it's not often that one designer can make so much of an impact on fashion with his own label to the extent that its streetwear-based and real-life-sensibilities a) become the most covetable items on the planet and b) catch the eye of one of Paris’ most storied and prestigious luxury houses to propel said designer up the ranks to land its top job: Balenciaga.

Demna Gvasalia has got charisma when it comes to making clothes. Just like Alessandro Michele is currently the master of Milan, Gvasalia is currently ruling Paris, and this, Balenciaga’s first ever menswear show, was a neat way to compound that point. How else does Demna make it?

 

The Balenciaga menswear Spring/Summer 2017 show, Paris, by Régis Colin-Berthelier for NOWFASHION

 

By understanding how to translate one of fashion’s favourite pieces of terminology "house codes" and making them relevant, making them cool, making them new: "clothes making the man" was the final thought the show notes left us with. Translation: an attitude, the way you wear things, how they wear you. And Gvasalia understands this dialogue. Just look what he’s done at Vetements. That’s why we cared more than ever about his menswear debut. Because it was seeing the next chapter in what has surely become one of fashion’s most intriguing-exciting if not slightly leftfield narratives (aside from Gucci) unfold. In the space of just over a year, Gvasalia has divided opinion but ultimately conquered fashion – and those "Balenciaga"-emblazoned caps will certainly help to keep the campaign trail up.

 

The Balenciaga menswear Spring/Summer 2017 show, Paris, by Régis Colin-Berthelier for NOWFASHION

 

Still not sure if you're a Balenciaga boy yet?

Opposed silhouettes, exaggerated and shrunken tailoring say you are. Leather laundry or Ikea-style shopping bags slung over the shoulder say you are. A palette of lemon yellow and brown, then later Papal purple and Cardinal red inspired by ecclesiastical high ceremony say you are.

 

The Balenciaga menswear Spring/Summer 2017 show, Paris, by Régis Colin-Berthelier for NOWFASHION

 

Gvasalia played with contrasting proportions – expanded into the aforementioned jackets, smart worker shirts too, and then zoomed back down into little corset-type tops, or those little shorts which when worn with the big big jackets made for an inverted frame. It was about defining a new menswear silhouette through tailoring, at the core of Balenciaga under Cristobal’s original inception. And this collection rekindled that Balenciaga pomp and shape and proportion that seemed to somehow get lost in the hands of Wang. Super boxy came instead of the synonymous house cocoon shapes; it was a modern update on house classics.

 

The Balenciaga menswear Spring/Summer 2017 show, Paris, by Régis Colin-Berthelier for NOWFASHION

 

Because to make a point in fashion, you really need to make a point – for it to stick, for it to make an impact and that's something that Gvasalia is extremely good at doing. And this was a very compelling start. 

 

Read our latest fashion reports with our exclusive coverage of Paris menswear fashion week in NOWMagazine.

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