Balenciaga does weekend dad’s wear in the Bois de Boulogne
Out-of-office wear for young dads at Balenciaga, the first major show in Paris menswear, opening the season with models traipsing along a dirt runway deep in the Bois de Boulogne.
Though this is casual wear with a difference, as the house’s creative director Demna Gvasalia worked his favorite themes – hyper volumes, populist lettering and, it being Balenciaga, unexpected materials.
Humungous soft-collar polos with sleeves below the elbows finished at the midriff with a white dash reading Speedhunter; oversized retro 80s Soviet parkas with the house’s classic logo, and a finale featuring a half dozen shirts and jeans jackets covered in plastic, many printed with phrases like 'Europe!' or 'The Power of Dreams.'
“I’m overwhelmed there were so many different ideas. Oh my Lord!” marveled actor Kyle MacLachlan in Paris for a promo tour for the latest Twin Peaks. “And when I saw the shirts covered in plastic. I drew it all right back to the show, since Twin Peaks all started with Laura found dead covered in plastic. And I thought how very clever!”
“And I loved the jacket with the giant green dragon. Especially having a boy who is eight and half years old, I really got that,” MacLachlan smiled.
Almost 10 children were in the show with one dad escorting three before an audience that included Carine Roitfeld and Balenciaga’s owner, Kering president Francois-Henri Pinault.
“I’ve a lot of pictures of you for some many years on my boards. So great to actually meet you!” enthused Demna to Kyle.
The designer’s biggest idea was the triple-decker jean, made in denim at the waist; corduroy along the thigh and leather below the knee. And, he remains a master of churning out commercial, and trend setting, accessories. Bags that looked like a plastic sort one picks up in Copy-Top, but instead done in fine leather; or shiny woven leather totes with a BB logo.
“I’ve been spending more time in nature. Meditating and doing yoga and I think that spiritual element is clear in this collection,” smiled the designer, standing before his look board.
Shown live on Balenciaga.com, which opened the action with drone videos of the giant Paris park before descending into the woods, where the soundtrack blasted out German metal band Rammstein. Paradoxically, the show was located close to the consulate of Russia, whose war with Gvasalia’s native Georgia caused his family to flee their native city of Sukhumi on the Black Sea.
“I wasn’t really allowed out as a kid. It was just too dangerous. But that makes me appreciate nature more now,” said the designer philosophically.
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