Balenciaga Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2014 Paris

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Balenciaga Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2014 Paris

In the architectural setting of the Observatoire de Paris, in a room where stone archways were softened by rich green foliage, designer Alexander Wang sent out his second effort for the house of Balenciaga. It was a collection that showed a designer enjoying the freedom to be creative on a much more technically advanced level, a designer finding the links between his own puritanical, albeit athletic, aesthetic and that of the founder, whose love of clean and crisp designs is legendary.

Wang began the collection with structured, stiff pieces that were placed on top of the models as appose to moving with them. Stand away from the body skirts, or jogging shorts crafted from braided lines of leather came with a matching taunt shirt or perfecto leather jacket with a slightly exaggerated rounded shoulder (a trend this season). Later a pair of high waist trousers showed up with floral crop tops (an even bigger trend this season). So clearly Wang has got his ear to the ground when it comes to spotting what fashionistas will want next.

On the other hand it is hard to believe they will be clambering for dresses that are designed with the sleeves attached to the bodice. As cool as their silhouettes looked on the catwalk, covered in little black beaded flowers, there is no way the models could lift their arms high enough to swing a Balenciaga bag over their shoulder. Maybe that’s why the designer only sent out some covetable silver tipped handbags options.

From there Wang began to move this collection into a more fluid direction. Creating cape like backs on jackets (or were they mini dresses?) and cotton shirt dresses. Another nice idea was the use of compressed fabric to create an abstract flower motif on dresses. It was a clever new interpretation of a technique not often used in modern fashion.

This was a well-executed sophomore outing. And while it didn’t wow the audience, there is a good chance that, like the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga himself, with time it will be more fully appreciated. Both for the ground work the designer laid in his fabric research and his exploration of the house’s codes.