Demna Gvasalia’s Standout Balenciaga Debut

While so many creative directors are coming to an end with their durations at French houses, Demna Gvasalia’s time is only just beginning. Gvasalia, along with his brother, head the anonymous collective comprising VETEMENTS — which, by any one’s standards, has been a superb success since first showing in 2014. His work elevating VETEMENTS to a prominent line in such short time has placed him in the coveted position as creative director at Balenciaga, a role in which he replaced Alexander Wang. Gvasalia has said he begins his design process by thinking of classic key pieces and reworking them for the modern woman, as evidenced within his debut at Balenciaga. The show opened with a two-piece grey suit, the jacket cinched and the pencil skirt slit through the side. Gvasalia showed his versatility with more structured tailoring at Balenciaga, much in contrast to the flowy, relaxed floral dresses he produced for VETEMENTS. Oversized parkas came half-zipped in a multitude of colors; classic button downs were given the VETEMENTS touch — oversized with longer-than-usual sleeves. Denim jackets were severely cropped, boxier than normal, and trench coats were given a wide, A-line shape in classic beige and navy. Will the Georgian designer succeed in returning Balenciaga to the forefront of the fashion market? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain — Demna Gvasalia has no interest in being Nicolas Ghesquiere or Alexander Wang, and maybe therein lies his ticket to success.

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