Balenciaga winter 2021 pre-collection: Yearning for global travel
With European populations slowly but surely being vaccinated, designers on the Continent are suddenly expressing a new optimism. Few more so than Demna Gvasalia of Balenciaga, who celebrated the presentation of the house winter 2021 pre-collection with a 'Feel Good' video and an Amélie Poulain worthy look-book, unveiled Sunday online.
Made in collaboration with artists Kamilya Kuspanova and Anton Bialas, the three-minute video was an entirely mood piece featuring no clothes or accessories from Balenciaga. What it did feature were giant seascapes; Arcadian highlands; sunsets reflected in an eyeball; wild horses running and a dozen skydivers linking hands in a joint jump. The sheer beauty of the planet heralded by images of manta rays feeding; petals being gently blown apart; dolphins leaping majestically and little children playing with baby donkeys or farmyard chicken. An unseen narrator intoning slowly, “alive, old, free, together,” along with a wall of synthesizer sound in a film named 'All Will Be Well'.
The actual clothes were presented in a look-book photographed by Patrick Welde against blank backgrounds. Before clever post-production placed the cast before legendary international tourist attractions. None of the looks referenced the link-up with sister brand Gucci, revealed in Gucci’s latest show video on Thursday.
The opening look was twinset of matching bubblegum pink hoodie and cape, on which was written 'Gay Pride', worn with oversized faded denim pants. The model standing sternly in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Before Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, a young lady stood in oversized black Balenciaga sweatshirt, with the legend 'Established in 1917'.
Traipsing around the planet for iconic locations – Pont des Arts in Paris; Taj Mahal in Agra; Atomium in Brussels; the Hollywood sign in LA and Pantheon in Athens. From Piazza San Marco to Mount Fujimori to the Sydney Opera House, the models realizing a dream of touring the world like the dwarf in Amélie Poulain.
“In these images, the collection goes around the world, anticipating a return to possibility of global travel,” explained the Georgian-born designer.
Before Big Ben, a voluminous leather blouson worn with track pants; in front of the Eiffel Tower, a quirky Asian model looks marvelous in a denim combo of trucker jacket and jeans sewn as the lover half of the rock groupie dress. The gal mock holding the top of the tower, like in an excited tourist photo.
Most memorably, a dude in moth-worn jeans worn under a massive pale gray cloak-coat standing before a soaring Aztec temple; or a gal in washed out denim overcoat before the Duomo of Milan.
An essentially androgynous collection made overlarge and slouchy, over 90% of whose fabrics were in certifiably sustainable fabrics. All ideal for comfortable travel.
Demna cutting with venomous volume pagoda shoulder trenches or blue floral ruffled party frocks. Interweaving double white stripes patches and panels, in an active sport couture moment.
This pre-coll' also displayed several cool and commercial new bags. Most notably a natty all-gold, grommeted Neo Classic bag, that incorporated elements from the 20-year-old iconic Balenciaga bag, with extra studs and a heart-shaped hanging mirror. Along with a bold plaid plastic woven tote Bistro Basket “inspired by the everlasting woven objects in typical French bistros.”
All told, a dose of optimism from an ever enthusiastic optimistic designer, and why not?
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