BALENCIAGA @ SS2015 Men Collection

BALENCIAGA SS2015 Men Collection proposed a modern wardrobe based on the signature BALENCIAGA volumes, but this season created with a sense of lightness and ease. The collection signals a shift towards a minimalist spirit: a paring down to the essential, graphic and geometric silhouettes established at BALENCIAGA. It is a minimalist spirit inspired by the functionalism of naval uniforms and simultaneously, the ease and blue simplicity of the sea. The minimalist spirit of the collection is achieved by strong contrasts: a mix of formal and casual codes. Disciplined tailoring is contrasted against oversized, looser volumes. A neutral colour palette is punctured by cobalt blue highlights. What appears easy is carefully crafted: The BALENCIAGA legacy of textile experimentation underscores these contrasts to give a tactile hand, via sculptured knitwear and papery fabrics, and via a mix of technical and classical fabrics.

The MODERN WARDROBE for the 21st Century is produced as perfect, essential pieces (e.g. the Trench and Peacoat; the Tuxedo and T shirt; the Parka and Suit) that mix formal and casual codes. The collection blends the highest classical tailoring with casual, sport pieces. The first looks are two classical Mackintosh jackets in cotton and nylon, made 100% waterproof through the introduction of contemporary, Framis-taped seams. Casual cotton tank tops are mixed with fine wool and mohair tailored suiting. Tailored shorts in traditional wool are contrasted against sculptured t-shirts in paperweight leather and suede. A cobalt blue short-sleeved sweatshirt finished in grosgrain ribbon is worn with an electric blue wool-mohair tailored suit. Black “Race” nylon mesh and elastic sneakers are worn with a treated taffeta lapel tuxedo jacket worn with a racing stripe trouser. The modern BALENCIAGA wardrobe is accented with a new line of finely-knit socks.

<A MINIMALIST SPIRIT> is conveyed through a deliberately pared-down colour palette of black, grey and khaki, but playfully highlighted with flashes of bright cobalt blue. The essential, rounded “Cocoon” BALENCIAGA silhouette appears in essential silk coats in either black or blue silk. Volumes in the collection are balanced and pure, mixing slim, straight trousers with loose, oversized jackets tempered at the waist by leather belts. Alternatively, multi-pleat, voluminous trousers are paired with strict, boxy jackets. Even the classic white t-shirt for BALENCIAGA is double-faced to remain graphically-strong and sculpted, finished cleanly by a grosgrain ribbon. Origami folding – building 3-dimensional form from a flat surface – is referenced via the asymmetrical, taffeta lapel on a black smoking jacket.

<A FUNCTIONAL, NAVAL SPIRIT> is expressed through classical motifs: via a black leather and navy jersey bonded pea coat, via boat neck collars worn as cotton underpinnings, or in rubber-dipped box calfskin ankle boots. A black and navy hooded parka underscores the functionalist, performance-wear touch to the collection. Grey or black trench coats in bonded canvas and technical fabric marry functional and future-forward materials.

<MATERIAL EXPERIMENTATION> yields a warmer, tactile quality to the collection, especially via knitwear and new textile combinations. Coated, black calfskin leather tunics, shorts and coats are treated to give a pearlescent, papery quality to the collection. Knitwear is newly used to express a sense of ease, especially in a black cotton and viscose raglan sleeve jacket, or in a sculptural, black cotton t-shirt knit in a heavy gauge.  Multi-material collisions produce new results in a pair of black moto-inspired trousers, combining raw linen, cotton, and sport mesh at the knee. <Metal HARDWARE> is used to give weight and heft in contrast to the collection’s light fabrics and rounded shapes. A silver “B” logo belt buckle spells out the key BALENCIAGA initial. Metal press-buttons signal a continuation on technical, modern fastenings. Silver zippers connote speed while “B” pull zipper tabs take a cue from industrial, mechanical signs.

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