Balenciaga's Glance at The Future - SS19
Balenciaga’s SS19 show was undoubtedly the spectacle of the season and possibly even the century. Creative director Demna Gvasalia teamed up with digital artist Jon Rafman as he welcomed his audience into video tunnel surrounded by computer generated imagery. Attendees were immersed into a full experience of sensory overload from Rafman’s video installation which included swirling, hypnotic digital oceans, captivating fiery hells and kaleidoscopes of patterns and colours. “My work explores new technologies and how our society, our consciousness, our interrelationships have changed,” said Rafman.
The set itself was a thrust into the future and a suitable backdrop for the collection which it complemented. Gvasalia’s intent was aimed in tackling the definitions of modern day elegance. It was as if he took a few familiar evening wear silhouettes and plunged them into a time machine programmed for a few decades later. “We challenged ourselves to make tailoring for today’s generation. How can they wear a suit—which they never do?” he explained. The first few looks featured the contemporary silhouette he introduced in the previous season with moulded padded shoulders, clinched torsi and flared off waists. This appeared in knee length dress coats carefully crafted with 3-D printed shoulder pads in velvets, stripes and leather. The designer also presented slip dresses which danced around the body like liquid, draped gowns and oversized blouses which framed the body like cocoons and splashes of logomania for the portions of his streetwear cult that crave it. The collection was designed as a sort of blueprint for the direction in which fashion can and may go within the next decades. A concept which was also fluently translated into the brand’s Summer ’19 campaign shot by British photographer Robert Yager. The campaign featured a cast of Balenciaga-like talents in fitted silhouettes posing in black and white imagery, giving harbingers of guardians of a future galaxy which also aided in making way for the matrix inspired futuristic film released for the same campaign.