At Balenciaga, Short & Sweet
Alexander Wang's first spring collection for the house of Balenciaga, which showed in Paris on Thursday, featured soft florals and high hemlines.
Full disclosure: I missed the Balenciaga show this morning — the hottest ticket of the season, no less. It’s a long story that involves a fight with a taxi driver in Frenglish and a sprint to the finish line (in flats, thank god). I still didn’t make it though and the vast iron gates at the Paris conservatory were shut to me. I was left alone outside, with the only option being to follow the show on Twitter and Instagram.
I did, however, stick around and the team were kind enough to let me go backstage after the show. It was an interesting way to experience the presentation of a new collection: instead of filing out with attendees, I pushed past them in the opposite direction -- and made sure to listen to their comments, which were unanimously positive. Models Julia Nobis and Joan Smalls skipped past and I saw close-up the simple, understated hair and make-up Alexander Wang had selected for this season. Model Daria Werbowy (who closed the show) called out to see if anyone had seen her hat. The mood overall was tranquil and positive, and the set, which was covered in ivy, looked like an enchanted garden.
For Spring, Wang was thinking about micro-minis: high-waisted shorts and A-line skirts skimmed the upper thigh just below the knicker-line and were worn with midriffs (which Wang introduced previously for Resort). The lengths added that luxe-sporty touch that the designer embraces so well.
Leather was another major theme this season, and the detail on some the garments was painstakingly laborious. The earlier looks, like the round-shouldered jackets and skirts, were actually constructed from hand-knitted leather (the skirts are seamless), and the longer leather skirts featured patterns that were cut out using a micro water-pressured jet. Then there were the fitted knit tees with hand-applique leather strips.
Overall the silhouette was looser, and Fall’s ultra-fitted form was cast aside in favour of shapes that were voluminous and flowing. There was a sense of lightness that was just perfect for Spring.