A new chapter begins at Balenciaga with the unification of the women’s and men’s collections. Within this show, the heritage of Cristobal Balenciaga’s sculptural tailoring has been re-engineered for today through a high-tech molding development involving 3-D body scanning and digital fittings. The waisted outlines of the ‘basque’ jacket and coat are precision-molded for both female and male physiques in a technique which bonds traditional wool, tweed and velvet to lightweight foam.
The collection is conceived as a building of layers, against a mountain backdrop which echoes a snow-boarding paradise. The idea of dressing for extreme weather develops in the progressive adding of layer on layer, beginning with close-to-body shapes and finishing with volumes which are fused together from up to nine pieces of outerwear.
Within the emphasis on the technological exploration of forms, there are the sharp lines of ‘tucked-in’ trousers, and ‘twin-set’ trompe l’oeil couplings of two garments which can be taken apart and worn separately.
As footnotes, Balenciaga presents rubberized stilettoes, based on the construction of cycling helmets. The new Track sneaker, broadly-based at the sole, has a labyrinth of multiple layers in the upper.
* The World Food Programme (WFP), the largest humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide, is supported by Balenciaga through a range of items that will carry the WFP logo.