Demna Gvasalia presents the 50th couture collection for Balenciaga. In a short statement, Demna recalled the transition away from couture for Cristobal during the rise of ready-to-wear collections. This is a re-launch of the couture line that “offers the highest creative and qualitative level of product to our customer.”
“Couture is above trends, fashion, and industrial dressmaking. It is a timeless and pure expression of craft and the architecture of silhouette that gives a wearer the strongest notion of elegance and sophistication.”
“Couture in the highest level of garment construction, that is not only relevant in today’s mass-productive industry, but even absolutely necessary for the survival and further evolution of modern fashion design.”
One can certainly applaud this effort to bring back fashion design for the sake of fashion. To be a leader in bringing back couture in a ready-to-wear driven industry, especially from the house of Balenciaga, is no small feat.
While critics may point to the damage that has already been done to the language of fashion by collections like Demna’s Balenciaga (or any hyper trend oriented fashion house), it goes without saying this is a stunning couture collection. While designers are certainly limited to the environment in which fashion operates in terms of commercial viability and the very trends Demna rescinds in this collection, in this editor’s opinion, it is certainly worth having designs that pay homage to the house.
Otherwise, we start to forget what Balenciaga is or any brand for that matter. A house of logos that represent what? The signs quickly become removed from their meaning. Here we have a brilliant example that couture and fashion, so to speak, can exist symbiotically, rewarding each other while retaining integrity to what a brand stands for.
Explore the full collection below. Images courtesy of Balenciaga.