Balenciaga Winter 20 recontextualizes the structures inherently associated with desire, inverting the values of certain dress codes. The austerity of clerical garb and court robes are interpreted for casual wear. Classical traditions, hardcore aesthetics, and fetishized details are combined and rearranged, mixing business with pleasure.
Neo-gothic dressing looks back and forward at the possibilities of menswear, layering floor-length skirts and caped coats. Bodybuilder “made-to-measure” fits create oversized, anabolic suits for anyone. Sport, religion, obsession, and seduction are stripped of their functions, leaving only the sensation of a fashion object: extravagant, dramatic, erotic, or menacing.
Silhouettes defy convention, accentuating a garment’s technical construction, the body of its wearer, and the space between the two. Exaggerated pagoda shoulders and upright collars are created with technical processes that reinterpret past and present iconography.
The techniques and materials used to make motocross, hockey, or scuba suits inform outfits for every day, softening the hard constructs of protective gear, while the softness of nightgown-like prints and fabrics are pumped up in powerful proportions, quilted, pleated, and layered with jacquard messages. The fictional Balenciaga Football Club places the obsessive quality of team sports in another fanatical context.
Evening streetwear presents minimal, elegant shapes from a patchwork of athletic textures. A modern take on waist-training, stretch materials are thermoformed to create an illusory cinch, eliminating the infrastructure of rigid corsetry. Gala dresses are all-inclusive: shoes, gloves, leggings, and gowns in one piece. Bodywear becomes a second skin, at once obscuring and revealing.
A collaboration with Vibram, the Toe and High Toe shoes twist and elevate an ergonomic innovation. Leather thigh high Texan rainboots provide another option for menswear silhouettes, while the Knife shoe reworks elements of lacey lingerie for the feet.
A sturdy Lunchbox clutch, along with crossbody backpacks and bondage wallets with chained wristlets reference other fetish objects; and in celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Classic Balenciaga bag is reimagined, called the Neo Classic.