It’s nearly Summer, but as tradition would have it, I’m in denial. I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop with my lap top wearing all black from head-to-toe as I ogle the new 2016 Balenciaga Pre-Fall collection as I plan my Fall wardrobe as if it’s not 75 degrees outside. There is always quite a bit of speculation surrounding the design details when major fashion houses experience a lag between the departure of the most recent creative director and the arrival & anticipated first collection from his or her successor. Alexander Wang, who left his post as the artistic director of the iconic luxury design house to focus on his namesake label, passed the torch to one of fashion’s most talked about designers of the moment: Demna Gvasalia of the Parisian design collective Vetements. Wang had some big shoes to fill at Balenciaga, as Nicolas Ghesquiere spent over a decade empowering the women’s fashion industry with his futuristic sci-fi designs by drawing inspiration both from the heritage of the house of Balenciaga as well as from the distant future with “the vision of a heroine” as he described. Demna is known for his over-sized early ’90s sportswear inspired T-shirt & sweatshirt shapes and over the top, self professed “ugly” designs. But that’s exactly why I love it. While Demna’s Vetements designs resemble nothing of the sculptural, wearable pieces of art that were Christobal Balenciaga’s vision for his namesake, they are similar in one aspect: the pieces are completely and unapologetically intransigent. Looking at the new Pre-Fall collection from Balenciaga that was reportedly designed by the fashion house’s internal team, I’m getting a Vetements type vibe from the large labels and boxy silhouettes, while still seeing a bit of Ghesquiere influence with metallic thigh-high stiletto boots.
The collection includes a gorgeous over-sized shearling aviator jacket, pleated skirts in the Balenciaga windowpane print, powerful suiting, drapey florals, and a wide variation of silks, furs, and beautiful textiles. My favorite pieces are the black trench with the silk shawl-collar, the over-sized black hoodie, and the shearling aviator jacket while our editor is eyeing the silver thigh-high boots, what are your picks?