Spandex, latex and pleather imbued Demna Gvasalia’s SS17 range for Balenciaga
Continuing to produce pizzazz and panache for the house, Demna (also overseer of fashion collective Vetements) collided couture with fetish-y elements for SS17. “An exploration of the intimate relationship between couture and fetishism runs beneath the surface of the Balenciaga Spring Summer 17 show,” stated the PR summary. “This collection takes a theoretical leap, harnessing the possibilities of Spandex, a stretch fabric invented in 1958, a time which coincided with Mr. Balenciaga’s development of silk organza gazar to mould to his couture purposes. To service the fantasies of the modern Balenciaga woman, she now appears encased in Spandex from stiletto-tip to hip.” And so the designer sent out a gaggle of girls and guys enveloped in Spandex tights in eye-popping colors, stilettos, thigh-high PVC boots, latex shawls and bi-cast pleather parkas. There was a tacky 70s quality to it — an ‘uncool cool’ subversive aesthetic that Demna has been pushing the past few seasons (those Herman Munster cuts mixed with the post-CCCP thing). A rather loud floral print was splashed over several pairs of Spandex leggings, along with some sheer dresses and colorful capes. There were broad sweeping shouldered silhouettes, over-sized sleeves and fun black and white twinkle prints. It was cool in an ‘anti-cool’ kinda way — gross and glam at once with an Eastern Bloc edge. The puffer vest (below) was the best and the purple pieces were pretty. Congrats, Demna, on Balenciaga season 2!