BALENCIAGA Pre Fall 20216 Women Collection

BALENCIAGA Pre Fall 20216 Women Collection is a breathing space. A palette cleanser. Looking back, before looking forward. Before the catwalk debut of Demma Gvasalia, under the direction of the house's design tea,. the pre-fall 2016 Balenciaga collection looks backwards, into an archive of a century of experimentation, to the archetypes of the label.

This Balenciaga collection is composed of sartorial quotes from the house's past, reactivated for the present. The fit, form and fabrics have been changed, but the attitude remains, The mood is of precision, of excellence of cut, and above all else of reality. The "quotes" are items pulled from the archives of the Balenciaga. These Balenciaga archetypes are fused with the mood of the modern, silhouettes subtly reworked to become relevant and covetable. Nothing is exactly replicated, but rather reinterpreted. The approach is at once literal and abstract.

Silhouettes are remixed, outfits proposing a hybird of past styles with contemporary references. A rediscovery of the heritage of Balenciaga. The semi-fitted line of spring 1952 mixes with Balenciags's archetypal aviator jackets; peep-over collars echo Balenciaga's lines of 1957-58's cocoon backs recall spring 1959. Prints are directly appropriated from the archives; a graphic windowpane check from  1966; details of spring 1960 floral embroidery become a new print.

Fluorescent shades of yellow and cyclamen are hyper-modern, the colours of technology, shades of the sports sneakers. Highlighter shades, they are used yo underline a series of key silhouettes quoted from the past. Silk, scarves, or carre are re-appropriated as garments. Blouses have trailing carre cuffs, while dresses are composed of layered squares, their form originating in the spontaneous act of draping a couture mannequin with squares of fabric.

Accessories underscore, rather than overwhelm. High boots with stereotypically "couture" stiletto heel are printed with displaced fabric textures to blend into garments, or function like jewelry in mirror-finish silver or gold. Knit caps are like chignons, delineating the skull. A fur scarf with an intarsia of the house logo wraps looks, like a macro-sized version of an archive Balenciaga couture label. This is the foundation of the house of Balenciaga, its vocabulary. The lines are original, but their context  is new. Their context is now.

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