Balenciaga Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2015 Paris
On Friday night Alexander Wang found a cool, new way to bring together two emblematic tribes of women: the ladies who lunch and the femme fatales. It made for a feisty combination that felt fresh and pleasingly familiar in equal measure.
As a dark-tressed Lady Gaga looked on from the front row, the designer produced a collection that focused on rather retro silhouettes and traditional fabrics. He then made them his own by updating them with a modern execution and urban embellishments.
Founder Cristóbal Balenciaga’s sculptural shapes, including his bubble skirt, cocooning coat, and rounded sleeved jacket, all showed up on the catwalk. Wang continued to stay true to those designs by cutting them in classic windowpane black and white checked wool, textural tweeds and chic black mink. To counteract all this refined elegance the designer often had his models walk the runway in flat ankle boots, which immediately slipped the ensembles off their pedestal. He also replaced traditional lady-like pearl earrings and brooches with oversized alternatives that enveloped the ears and pinned to their coats daggers that pierced the noble fabric.
But it really was the countless ways Wang injected a metropolitan sense of the city streets into these clothes that sold the show. The stiff structure of staples used as seams on coats had a slightly sinister appeal. The reproduction of salt and pepper tweeds as stand up spiky beadwork on a long vest was impressive. Clever too, were the worn in spray paint-like lines of contrasting colors delineating the placement of pockets and cuffs on outerwear. And the use of a big, black silver buckled belts as a collar on coats and on the edges of pockets was pretty bad ass.
When Wang moved into his evening wear, the blending of tradition and treatments became even more blurred. Hobble skirted dresses had the skirts covered in lozenge shaped bumps like those found on metal sheeting. Tops were crafted out of hundreds of small, curved metal hoops. And sliver flower motif gowns looked lethally sharp, in a good way.
This was a strong step forward for Wang as he continues to find his way at Balenciaga.