The BALENCIAGA Pre-Spring 2015 collection by Artistic Director Alexander Wang dramatically extends the asymmetrical forms introduced in the Fall-Winter 2014 collection, and leans towards a more fluid, spontaneous manner of dressing for today’s era of Hyperspeed.
The essential graphic spirit of BALENCIAGA is expressed through a minimal black and white palette, with accents of peach, navy and lime. A renewed sense of sensuality is introduced with deep v-necklines and abbreviated, swimwear-inspired tops, but contrasted by Tomboy, oversized proportions. Innovative weaving techniques seamlessly blend two contrasting materials within a single cloth for a graphic “Selvage” effect. A through-line of utility and functionalism is expressed via materials associated with modern sailing, including rubber, PVC, cotton canvas and fishnet.
The collection begins with a group of A-line, black jackets inspired by the “Babydoll” silhouette, but here emitting a youthful, Tomboy spirit created in woven wool. These tailored, oversize pieces are paired with crepe shorts and feminine, silk jersey knit bralettes to mix masculine and feminine codes. A strapless, black crepe romper contrasts a playful attitude against an elegant silk band patterned with an “Impressionist” motif. The Tomboy attitude is underscored throughout with box calfskin “River” galoshes. The rubber-soled boots, typically associated with the fisherman’s uniform, is here elevated by python detailing and a BALENCIAGA silicone eyelet.
Sailing and Sea symbols are expressed in a classic cotton piqué shirtdress and in a pair of milky- white PVC fisherman coats that appear to be cut out of sailing cloth and net. These functional coats blend technical materials with traditional: a layer of fine silk chiffon is encased within PVC at the collar. The fisherman coats are worn over cotton piqué paneled skirts printed with a sailing stamp, listing the founding year (1937) and historical address of the House: 10 Ave. George V, Paris 75008. A “Net” cocoon coat features a satin and silk jacquard fabric, with a dramatic hand-worked net placed on top to graphic effect. The classic Cocoon silhouette is modernized by a bomber collar and silver zip. Nautical stripe silk scarves worn at the wrist give a sense of billowing sails.
Triangular points, tails and slashes in light, fluid crepes bring dramatic movement to the collection, while still retaining the graphic signature of the House. A light white crepe tunic with a scarf-tie neckline and a razor-sharp handkerchief “point” hem create geometric layers on the body, paired with masculine, wide-leg trousers with a satin “Twist” waist. A softly tailored white raffia jacket with an asymmetrical “point” hem is carefully constructed to convey a loose, relaxed silhouette.
A sweeping “Origami Overlap” duster coat without closures is created with a softer hand in a pearlescent black lambskin bonded to jersey.
New accessories embody the sea and sailing themes of the Resort collection, and mix formal and casual codes. A hand-made suede “Net Minaudiere” tote is given shape with the inclusion of a “Bubble” plexiglass minaudiere, as if caught from the ocean. Sporty Calfskin-and-cord “Outline” shoulder bags casually enclose opulent, hard - chrome cases. Chrome “B Buckle” belts and cuffs take sport cues from the quick-release closures from mountaineering backpacks. Whimsical, cast- metal “Cowrie Shell” jewels return the collection to the ease and movement of the sea.