BALENCIAGA Pre Fall 2015: “The Charm; The Clash” collection results from clashing, contradictory dualities: a vibrant dialogue between tradition and innovation, “bourgeois” and “street” archetypes, industrial and artisanal textures, the polished and the disheveled, ladylike and tomboy qualities. Based on dualities, the collection is a diverse wardrobe designed to convey an eccentric spirit. Proportions surprise: jackets close off-center, trousers are cropped high, oversized buttons and studs are freely sprinkled on gloves, scarves and dresses with subtle humor.
Anchoring this eclectic wardrobe is a key Fur Capsule collection comprised of 5 perfect basics interpreted in luxurious, sheared mink. The T-shirt, Motorcycle jacket, Pea Coat, Trench Coat, and Bomber are elevated from the familiar to the sublime. Even a ubiquitous street-fashion staple, the white and green “Fred Perry” polo, becomes uncannily fresh when produced in sheared mink, and paired with suspender trousers. Tradition and innovation meet in a white mink “Inkjet Plaid Cocoon Coat”, with its archival Cristobal Balenciaga pattern applied via a radical ink-jet print process. Tradition and modernity also meet in the finale look: a black velvet dress in an archival olive-branch pattern is paired with a mink flight bomber jacket in sage geren.
A group of jacquard “Tailored Spray” pieces created in sober wool and silk have vibrant color “sprays” woven into the dignified cloth: a subversive graffiti gesture on formal tailoring, to beautiful effect. These polished looks are finished with fluffy “Inkjet Plaid” mink gloves and scarves to exaggerate the textural contrast. Lingerie inspirations explored in the Spring 2015 collection are now amplified in stronger contrasts between feminine and masculine: an ivory crepe slip dress is punctured with black leather-covered eyelets; a sculpted black calfskin dress is softened with mink at the bustier. Sleek industrial and artisanal textures are juxtaposed to new effect. An ivory cashmere turtleneck spotted with heat-transfer dots is paired with a draped wool jersey skirt with flat metal buttons. The lush feel of a cropped, black shearling jacket is contrasted against a smooth calfskin pencil skirt. The softness of a sky blue angora sweater plays against the flat satin sheen of peplum-waist trousers. A showstopper black Cocoon coat in a black “Teddy Bear” Steiff fabric is hand-treated to achieve a prickly, spiked texture in contrast to its geometric silhouette.
Sparkling rhinestone and palladium brooches in iconic Bow, “B” and Feather motifs lend a highbrow, heritage touch to the collection. In contrast: graphic brass or palladium “Triangle” and “Zig Zag” earrings take playful cues from modern “Tangle Toy” squiggles. A varied mix of heel heights – from patent leather “Spider” stilettos to matte over-the-knee knit boots or kitten-heel sequin party heels underscore the eccentric spirit. The dual-nature of the collection is accentuated by half sheer, half opaque black contrast tights. “Le Dix” handbags are re-introduced as a “Soft Le Dix” line, in two-tone, softened structures. The ladylike top-handle bags are folded and rounded, in luxe materials including ostrich, patent leather and crocodile. A new “Le Dix Cosmetic Bag” blends sharp and rounded edges and is carried at the hip with a smart wrist strap.