Mood board: Out and about at the shows during Paris Fashion Week, Balenciaga’s colourful thigh-high sock boots have been omnipresent. No surprise, then that for Demna Gvasalia’s S/S 2018 outing for the brand, the Vetements founder stuck to the new codes he has set for the house, seen in deconstructed outerwear (a nod to the designer’s stint at Maison Martin Margiela), floral dresses, oversized workwear and those sock boots (here imagined in sunset, daisy and ombre prints). There was also a hint of Highland fling in the collection, as Stella Tennant opened the show in a tartan pencil skirt and oversized shirt. Plaids and checks were seen throughout, in deconstructed trousers that appeared to be layered under shorts, padded jackets and cocoon coats with huge bows at the collar – a nod to the silhouettes in the Balenciaga archive. Prints were a touchpoint for S/S 2018, there were camouflage peplum tops (worn by the brand’s stylist Lotta Volkova), scenic prints, sunset vistas, leopard prints and retro blooms. All covetable patterns for the Balenciaga girl.
Best in show: For Balenciaga’s A/W 2017 mens show, Gvasalia drew attention to the capitalist nature of fashion houses, emblazoning hoodies with the Kering logo (that being the luxury conglomerate which owns the maison). For S/S 2018 women’s, the creative director drew attention to the money-making and commercial criteria of fashion success today, with floaty dresses and sock boots printed with Euro notes and American dollar bills.
Finishing touches: The eclectic mix of footwear included platform Crocs (a shoe Christopher Kane also turned his attention to last season) and stilettos with torturous oversized spikes. Quilted bags and belts were finished with charm-bracelet-like pendants that represented symbols of French culture, like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Travel has been a trope on the Paris catwalk; at Maison Margiela, John Galliano’s accessories took inspiration from the luggage tags seen at airports. At Balenciaga, it was all about the automobile, as vanity cases were imagined in hard plastic, and resembled the headlights of cars.