WORDS Otavio Schroeder
Opening the AW17 Paris Fashion Week Men's, Balenciaga brings us a new twist to office wear. Balenciaga’s ateliers recently moved to the same building as the office of its parent company, Kering, and it looks as though the move helped Demna Gvasalia and his designing team draw inspiration for his second menswear collection for the brand from the gaze of businessmen walking through the offices. The connection between the brand and the fashion conglomerate didn’t stop there though as the Kering logo appeared on two garments, a white hoodie and a long black coat.
The first part of the collection was more conservative, if that can even be said about any of Demna’s designs. The Georgian designer who took the fashion world by storm last year took a less strict approach to traditional company dress codes applying comfort to sharply cut coats and oversized jackets, combining skinny trousers with super-low waistlines with button-down shirts, shirts left open and even completely shirtless. Further on, the collection becomes more influenced by the street style we have come to know and love from Demna.
The colour scheme was quite sober mixing blues, greys, browns and blacks. Highlighting colours only appeared on some accessories such as ties, sneakers and bags. Leather, velvet and plastic pieces attracted the attention amongst the most common materials for a work environment like tartan and stripes.
Finally, the biggest talking point of the collection was a subtle political take on Balenciaga’s logo. The brand paid homage to Senator Bernie Sanders reworking his presidential campaign slogan together with the words “Balenciaga 2017". The design, which was embroidered on bomber jackets, t-shirts, made into pins and printed on a puffy shawl scarf, made a strong, bold statement closing this season's show.