Balenciaga Mixes Old and New at First Men’s Fashion Show


Guests wait anxiously for the Balenciaga spring/summer 2017 show to begin. (Photo: First View)

On Wednesday morning in Paris, a stylish group of fashion folk gathered on the rooftop terrace of a local Catholic school to see Balenciaga’s first men’s fashion show. The brand has included menswear in its repertoire before, but never on the runway and never as complex as its current, spring/summer 2017 collection. And the critics seem to be loving it.

Under the recent creative direction of Georgian fashion designer Demna Gvasalia, the nearly 100-year-old house of Balenciaga has completely transformed — its menswear has taken on the exaggerated style and shape of a 1980s David Byrne via “Stop Making Sense.”


A spitting image of David Byrne’s oversize suit. (Photo: First View)

But despite the clothes seeming a bit retro, Gvasalia told that the collection actually evolved from one garment, an unfinished coat made by the brand’s founding father, Cristóbal Balenciaga.

As this silhouette developed throughout the show — typically paired with cropped trousers and platform boots — Gvasalia interjected his own conceptual streetwear aesthetics (ones we’ve seen from his work at Vetements), like baggy work pants, bomber jackets, and chains dangling from belt loops.


A rather flamboyant purple ensemble shown with platform boots. (Photo: First View)

Though some looks on the Balenciaga runway may appear a little out there, Gvasalia’s first menswear effort for the label demonstrated a perfect balance of old and new.

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