Where Cristóbal Balenciaga is remembered for such quotes as “I am not made to dress people in the street”, current creative director of Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia, aims to do just that.
High fashion has maintained its name by aiming to stay unattainable and exclusive, yet Gvasalia’s position as Balenciaga’s creative director has the fashion world disputing the elements of Haute couture. Since his rapid rise in the fashion world following the success of Vetements, Gvasalia has continued to be acknowledged for his ability to transform street wear into luxury design worn on runways.
The origin of Balenciaga as a brand was the aim to display affluence, and Gvasalia’s embrace of the ‘common’ surprisingly doesn’t conflict with Cristòbal’s initial intentions. Gvasalia appropriates street style in the setting of a high-end brand, and somehow manages to pull it off. He produces hype around his limited-edition clothing pieces, such as the memorable DHL T-shirt, by heightening the desire for ordinary clothing through the utilisation of expensive material and a limited stock.
“I started to ask myself, Why? And who is going to buy this? I mean, the biggest compliment for a designer is to see someone wear your clothes. And that’s something I rarely saw”. This thought process produced the brand Vetements, which translates from French to “clothing”, an uncomplicated title perfectly fit for an easy to comprehend concept.
The success of both Vetements, and Gvasalia as a designer in general, reflects the fashion world’s current desire, which is evidently wearable yet luxurious clothing. Some critics of Gvasalia may be perplexed by his position as the creative director of Balenciaga, considering his seemingly different perspective on fashion to Cristóbal himself, but his designs aim to answer the same question tackled by Balenciaga from the very beginning, ‘what do women want to wear?’.
Let us know what you think of Gvasalia’s designs in the comments!