Paris Fashion Week: Balenciaga Spring/Summer 15
Suitably shown in Paris last night, Balenciaga SS15 was directly inspired by the Tour de France cycling race. The last-minute front-row appearance of one-year-old North West (wearing a black 'Yeezus' T-shirt and diamond earrings), and of course her parents, almost upstaged the clothes, but the runway – which was a reworking of classical French-tiling was lit up from below, revealing swirling dry ice. It was all very dramatic, to say the least, and made us wonder how this season will move on from poster girl Gisele's powerful AW14 display.
"We started thinking a lot this season about opulence," Wang said before the Balenciaga show, "with the mood feeling very restrained in fashion lately, we thought, let's go indulgent!"
This meant exploring the magnificent embellishments that harked back to the days of Cristóbal Balenciaga. "The heritage of the house is purist and austere," said Wang, "but such a large chapter was very artisanal and decorated."
So where do the bikes come in? The answer is Paris, literally. While the designer was working on the collection during the summer, the Tour de France took place in the city, so he used the inspiration of the cyclist's functional clothing to "take the preciousness out" of those rich monochrome embroideries. Bicycle chains even turned up as jewels in the form of necklaces and wrist bangle ropes.