Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2017 Men’s Show Paris

Balenciaga held its first ever men’s runway show this morning in Paris. The collection, designed by Demna Gvasalia, was markedly different from the house’s past menswear efforts, eschewing a sporty spirit for something more rigid and formal. Here, eight defining points from the collection.

The show was held in the rooftop atrium of Paris’s Lycée Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague. With three rows of seating and no standing section, it was a decidedly small affair—all the better for guests to get a close look at Gvasalia’s collection.

Whereas Gvasalia’s first women’s collection for Balenciaga was about the curve, this men’s collection seemed to be about the straight line. Suit jackets were rigidly boxy, with extreme shoulders and linear silhouettes.

Several concepts carried over from the Fall 2016 womenswear show, like the beige plaids that made up several suits and the oversize tote bags slung over models’ shoulders.

Hope you like a man in heels, because Gvasalia’s guys wore stacked-heel boots in a variety of colors that accented their cropped trousers and shorts.

The more curvilinear pieces in the collection included nipped-waist suiting and an electric-purple bustierlike top with matching pants, the latter possibly an homage to Prince.

Other accessories included long silver chains that hung from front to back pockets of pants and belts tied precariously tight, their slack sticking straight out.

A series of suits near the show’s finale were made from ecclesiastical fabrics from a supplier to the Vatican. So will we see the Pope in Balenciaga? Probably not. As Vogue Runway’s men’s critic Alexander Fury notes, the pieces were a comment on the formality of ceremony, not on religion.

At the end of the show, the crowd waited for Gvasalia to emerge for a bow, but he remained backstage.

by Steff Yotka

Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2017 Men’s Show Paris