• 3rd October 2017


Inside a vast, blackened show space, creative director Demna Gvasalia’s playful approach stood out more than ever. It was there in the palette; pastels, clashing prints – herringbone, tartan, camouflage – in proportions; peplum hemmed knitwear, oversized shirts, exaggerated accessories, and in styling; coats worn only around the models’ necks and sweaters tied around the waist.

Loose-fitting shirt dresses, at times cinched-in (only slightly) gave fluidity to the collection, while Demna’s urge to deconstruct, reconfigure and reconstruct – a trait very much in tune with Cristobal Balenciaga’s own – manifested through fusing together pieces. Trousers sliced into thirds and layered under shorts, T-shirts hung off shirts, trench coats merged with denim jackets, velvet met leather, tartan was spliced with plaid and patterns bumped uglies to become something quite extraordinary: sunsets, leopard prints, florals, mountain landscapes and hectic graphics of international bank notes. Meanwhile the brand’s new logo interpretation was given its runway debut, boasting a new typeface (“Conceived in-house, the development process was inspired by the clarity of public transportation signage”) and models carried hero piece hard plastic totes shaped like car tail lights.

Oh, and we should probably mention that Crocs collaboration. Demna-ised, they were built from a one-piece foam mould to include a platform heel – 10cm, to be exact – with kitsch souvenir-like ‘jibbitz’ charms that can be attached to the perforated upper, from an avocado to the Balenciaga logo, pugs to flags. Titled ‘foam’ they will be available in yellow, pink, and a muted green, and there’s been plenty of noise bashing the “ugly” shoes already (the usual suspects), not that Demna would care, that’s exactly what he thrives on: appropriating the inappropriate.

Perverting the mainstream, Gvasalia’s collection is not only a tribute to the fashion house’s illustrious reference points, but incorporates his Vetements edge in seizing up different ways to play on an idea that’s as applied as it is statement.