Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2016 Collection – Paris Fashion Week
Alexander Wang’s Balenciaga spring/summer 2016 ready-to-wear collection was, quite literally, void of all color. In Wang’s final runway show for the house, he chose to put the focus directly on the silhouettes. The house has a tendency toward a muted color palette, but a collection of white garments and nothing more took things to an interesting new perspective for the runway.
Some designers want to go out with a bang for their final show for a house, but Alexander Wang took a more subtle approach by leaving the drama out. By diminishing the color palette, the designer has quite possibly made a larger impact than what an explosion of color with over-the-top silhouettes could have ever accomplished.
With lingerie inspired garments appearing as a trend for this coming spring/summer, Alexander Wang definitely showed a mastery of the concept. He even played with a “pajamas” vibe to up the ante. The single simple color made it easier to show the intricate (and personal) details of each garment and model.
His tea-length dress with a ruched bodice and intricate line detailing took the appearance of lingerie, or a slip, while his long, loose pants with thin, checkerboard pinstripes resembled the classic pajama pants. Any way you look at it, the Balenciaga spring 2016 collection was all about taking what women wear in their boudoir and translating it to the runway, and inevitably streetwear.
It is almost as if Alexander Wang took the best aspects of the two genres and mashed them together in perfect harmony. The looks, although mimicking lingerie, were nowhere near “too sexy,” but were instead balanced by an edge, so the modern woman can look at these pieces on the runway and see herself in them. The garments had a comfortable feeling as they walked down the runway, with some being a slinkier, satiny comfort and others being loose or flowing.
A mesh robe that hung around the model was an interesting piece. The garment was reminiscent of a sleepwear robe, while giving a nod to spring/summer, more specifically, swimming. While not being a glaring point of reference, the whole look gave the beach or poolside vibe, with its airy fabric, seeming to be a cross between the lingerie and swimwear.
Each model was styled and accessorized in a mixture of street-and-sleepwear chic. Not all models were adorned with jewelry, but those who were sported long, chunky pieces that contrasted the outfits. Large, gold, square necklaces were one of the most common pieces of jewelry worn on the runway, and proved to be an interesting pop of adornment.
Each model was featured with a pair of floral slippers, clearly falling on the side of housewear rather than being for the streets. The jewelry brought in the designer’s urban streetwear aesthetic, and it paired nicely with the lounging, sleepy vibe the basis of the clothes portrayed.
While The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Going Back to Cali” was the perfect song chosen to accompany the show, the designer also asked his best friends – Bella Heathcote, Riley Keogh, Zoë Kravitz – to walk for his final Balenciaga show, which added diversity to the scene as far as the models’ body shapes and sizes go.
Alexender Wang took Balenciaga and put his stamp on the collections he presented in his time with the house, taking the brand on a tangent that didn’t quite seem to fit their past aesthetics. The designer had a lot to offer as far as incorporating trends in ways others couldn’t. It’s currently up in the air as to what is on the agenda for the house next, and where they will be for the next season.
Photos courtesy of Vogue