Balenciaga’s Fall 2018 collection that was presented on Sunday will definitely go down as one to remember in the brand's history book. It was a show of many firsts for the fashion house as creative director Demna Gvasalia explored new territory for next season. “After two years at Balenciaga, I wanted to take all the codes of the house and filter them so they can be one aesthetic and one ethic," he told press.
For the first time, men and women walked the Balenciaga runway together, with Gvasalia commenting that it represented a conceptual and personal leap. The fashion house also turned to technology this season, working with high-end tech that allowed bodies to be scanned for fittings and pieces to be 3D printed to later be moulded with traditional fabrics. These pieces then came to be the oversized, three dimensional coats and blazers that were presented on the runway.
The theme of extreme weather was also clearly evident as the runway was home to a faux snow covered mountain (covered with graffiti in a very Balenciaga-esque manor). Silhouettes were pushed to the extreme as coats were layered on jackets that were layered on flannels, so on and so forth to create the ultimate outerwear piece. “It’s actually one piece," Gvasalia says, "we ended up with shapes that are extremely reminiscent of the house archive even though I used all the ‘Demna’ pieces – hoodies, parkas. This was my way of showing that this is the new Balenciaga; how I see it defined by me being there.”
Another point of discussion - the brand also announced their collaboration with World Food Program, a charity that seeks to end global hunger by 2030. Many items for their Fall 2018 collection, including sweatshirts, fanny packs & windbreakers were branded with the WFP logo or the slogan “Saving Lives, Changing Lives.. Balenciaga has already donated $250,000 to the charity and has made clear that 10% of the retail price of each piece sold will be donated to the charity. “For the first time, I thought that fashion could be useful in a different way than just covering the body.”
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Sonia Rykiel showed their own take on Fall 2018. Potentially being one of the most exciting runways of the season, the Sonia Rykiel show did not fail to bring a smile to spectators' faces. It was a presentation of everything from yeti outerwear, to leather jeans, to sequin embellished shift dresses, with a grand finale featuring a performance from the famous 80’s British pop group Bananarama, it was a spectacle many would not want to miss.
As the brand celebrated their 50th anniversary, creative director Julie de Libran looked to both the beginnings of the brand as well as her own start in the fashion industry as inspiration for the collection. “The spirit of Post Punk, New Wave, and pop was quite liberating for me and the way I used clothes. This is when I discovered how to express myself through clothing,” the brand said. The show was presented in waves of inspiration deriving from to 60’s mod to 90’s grunge and everything in between, sent down the runway on laughing, joyful models (an obvious nod to OG Sonia Rykiel shows).
Standout pieces included 70’s inspired monochrome corduroy powersuits, an abundance of different style trench coats, and a show stopping sequin blazer. Although the endless decade inspiration was a tad overwhelming to follow at times, the overall show held strong pieces and lively atmosphere. Bananarama closed out the show with 3 of their biggest hits, as De Libran commented that “Bananarama to me represent the wonderful fearlessness of women, of self-belief, of honesty, of sorority, but also of joy and celebration.”