A luxury brand is selling a construction look-alike reversible jacket for over $3000. All that, just to look like you are about to operate a jackhammer down on Wall Street. Is this the future of high fashion brands?
The Balenciaga fashion house was formed in 1919 by the extraordinaire Cristóbal Balenciaga in San Sebastián, Spain. The luxury house is currently based in Paris.
Through the last century, Balenciaga’s reputation has been based on uncompromising standards. Christian Dior even claimed that: “he was the master of us all”.
Today, the empire falls under the house of Kering, which is founded by billionaire Francois Pinault.
The looks that have been produced by the fashion house have always kept its fans wondering.
In fact, a look that took our breath away, from the luxury line, was just represented on the red carpet.
This year’s 2021 Met Gala saw Kim Kardashian wearing a stark black Balenciaga haute couture gown, with a matching mask and train. It was unlike any Kardashian—or anyone else— has worn to the Met before.
According to Vogue, it completely obscured her features and famous physique, and the star gave us a look that she hasn’t had in a long while: anonymity.
Entering the gala with Balenciaga designer, Demna Gvasalia, on her arm and in a matching ensemble, featuring a black-out hoodie, Kim Kardashian kept the entire crowd guessing.
Demna Gvasalia explained that during the Covid-19 pandemic, he saw himself making the Balenciaga collection and video, which aired during the Paris Fashion Week 2021.
According to their site, the game and the collection imagines a near future in which clothing is meant to transform over many years. Treatments tease out the ageing process of materials, emphasizing the idea of wearing something for decades or repurposing it forever.
“I think in ten years time everything in fashion will be sustainable. We will be reusing the clothes we have. So, I thought: In the year 2030, how will your favourite things look, aged and destroyed?” – Demna Gvasalia
Balenciaga presented its Fall 2021 collection with the video game Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow. For the campaign, they relied on Quantic Dream, a Paris-based company that produces and distributes video games. It was founded in 1997.
Through a short film made in motion capture, the French fashion house announces and celebrates the arrival of the entire collection in boutiques around the world.
Take a look at the Balenciaga Fall 2021 video campaign available online and in the fashion house’s boutiques worldwide.
One thing that the design has taken into consideration is how it completely ignores gendered clothing categories.
“It became very obvious to try to do garments that are unisex, uni-size or uni-everything. It drastically reduced the number of cuts and fits we had to make. Whoever wears it, looks good.” – Demna Gvasalia
Another celebrity who embraced a different side to the collection was Justin Bieber. He was recently used as a model on their Instagram page to showcase a number of famous shoes, bags and baggy luxury house clothing.
In the description of the collection, Balenciaga states that suits and coats are made to be worn anywhere. T-shirt jerseys are stonewashed and pre-stretched to look worn. They are extra comfortable, while super destroyed suits show a loving amount of wear.
“In the future, a garment that appears to serve one function may serve another, seeing as certain materials will be reinterpreted for new uses.” – Balenciaga
For example, a satin trench is not a coat but a party dress or how a simple tee can be used as a dress.
Many products are remade to perform new functions, like a blanket that becomes a coat or a hooded cape. A transformer parka with large exterior pockets also acts as a functional duffel bag.
Could this really be the future of fashion?
One-piece, in particular, has caused huge controversy, not just because of its steep price – but because it looks exactly like a high-visibility construction jacket.
Balenciaga’s reversible logo-printed parka, an oversized jacket featuring the neon yellow, navy and silver highlights, most familiarly seen on construction workers, features Balenciaga’s logo shortened to look more like a construction company name.
According to news.co.au, the fashion line claimed that the piece was a salute to those working in everyday lives.
“For AW21, Balenciaga staged a dystopian collection, where the looks represented a sort of armour for everyday life.”Balenciaga
Not only does it boast its reversible vis jackets but its latest offering – a $1900 knitted hoodie covered in holes, has completely sold out in the UK alone.
The blue and red number is 100% polyester and has holes in the chest, arms, back and bottom.
One thing to take away from this is that Balenciaga continues to pivot from a luxury fashion house to a reputable media brand.
For them it’s more than just simply making couture, it’s about making people talk.
As we noted with the premiere of Afterworld, Balenciaga is no longer competing with just Louis Vuitton or Dior anymore, it’s playing in a different ballpark altogether.
Designer Gvasalia’s aesthetic has transformed Balenciaga from one of several stars in fashion’s high firmament into a universe of its own.
Once again, they’ve tapped into the most valuable element of luxury: that fashion is an escape.
To view their entire collection click here.
Let us know what you think about this futuristic fashion idea and whether or not, it is fashion-forward.