The Balenciaga Spring 2018 Menswear show took place on the first day of summer in the woods of Bois de Boulogne and was a family affair. Demna Gvasalia said ‘there is nothing more beautiful than seeing young dads with their kids,’ and this where the inspiration for the collection began. The models that would usually take part in the show were asked if they had kids and, voila, the result was three families that took to the runway.
The collection itself was a continuation of the study from his previous Fall collection of Executives and Tech Nerd uniforms, with Gvasalia saying ‘this is the same man, on casual Friday and the weekend.’ The whole show had a back to basics vibe and put his off-duty man into his comfort zone; relaxing with his family in pleasant woodland surroundings away from the stressful city. The aspect of comfort manifested itself in the clothes, with loose jeans, oversize blazers and big shirts making up the backbone of the silhouettes on offer. There was a sense that Gvasalia was tackling the uncool genre of ‘dad-clothes’ here; rugby and polo tops, tucked in tees and shirts, rumpled linen grandad jackets. He was embracing these pieces most commonly found discarded in charity shops and giving them a new sense of life.
However, the pieces weren’t all about wholesomeness and nostalgia, there was an edge to the collection in the leather shorts and trousers, and the distinct athleisure merged with European nightclub look. Slogans were a key feature, with different versions of the word for Europe and instructions to ‘think big’ and declarations about ‘the power of dreams.’
Overall the collection was optimistic and hopeful, a much-needed tonic for the current times, with Gvasalia promoting ‘the dream of good things and peace.’