For Balenciaga‘s Spring/Summer 2019 collection, fans were treated to a shockingly understated presentation from the luxury label currently recognized for its towering sneakers and bizarre, headline-baiting designs. For Fall/Winter 2019, it’s anything but a return to form — Balenciaga once again subverts expectations with an oddly accessible range of street-friendly tailoring, knitwear and statement coats.
Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia recently spoke out against public misconceptions, noting that “I don’t usually joke when I make fashion. I’m really serious about making clothing. … I’m not part of this ugly fashion. I never liked ugly stuff really.” Fall/Winter 2019 is a realization of this bold claims, with an emphasis on silhouette over eye-catching graphics. Gone are the triple-layered jeans and massive ’90s-inspired tees of Spring/Summer 2018, replaced by belted wool trench coats, cropped trousers and slouchy sweaters. Gvasalia hasn’t refuted his quirky inclinations, of course — there’s a wide array of washed dad jeans, shirts with half-removed sleeves, billowing track pants and those tiny sunglasses. However, the brand’s focus has shifted to proportion play.
The famed Triple-S sneaker — arguably the most influential footwear of the past two years — is nowhere to be found on the runway, but its presence is felt by way of the dramatic silhouettes informed by the outerwear. Coats, bomber jackets, dresses and blazers all boast enormous, unmissable shoulders, seemingly padded more than linebacker jerseys. These beefy cuts grant the looks an imposing, wide silhouette, shifting the weight from the feet to the torso. There are some other head-turners for those seeking less adventurous styling — like checkerboard-printed jeans, flask-style leather bags and boxy “BALENCIAGA PARIS”-branded tees — but the chunky shoulders bring the most drama to the comparatively understated presentation, demonstrating how Gvasalia’s skill at effortlessly turning otherwise-conventional fashion on its head.
Watch Balenciaga’s entire runway show below.
Most recently, Balenciaga appeared frequently in our Paris Fashion Week street style round-up.