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A Menswear Revolution

Fashion News
The first menswear runways show in the history of Balenciaga opened Paris menswear fashion week in a dramatic way.

By Jessica Michault

Though the usually jam packed menswear calendar was a little lighter than usual—as many brands are in the process of bringing in new talent—one of the biggest events of the season was the first ever menswear fashion show for the house of Balenciaga.

The newly installed designer Demna Gvasalia based his entire collection on a man’s coat he discovered in the house’s archives that the founder, Cristobal Balenciaga, had never finished. Its boxy tailoring became the basis on which Gvasalia created a collection that celebrated proportion.

Other brands that seem to be moving in new directions include Valentino and Versace. At the Valentino show—where talk of Maria Grazia Chiuri decamping for Dior was fresh in the air—the collection made an impact with its panther motif tops and jackets, military infused garments and riffs on its now iconic camouflage designs.

While at Versace designer Donatella Versace left behind her usual beefcake, slightly campy creations for a collection that was inspired by dancers who performed in a video campaign shot by Bruce Weber for her fall/winter 2016 womenswear collection. Lots of flowing fabrics or second skin sporty ensembles designed with movement in mind were the new order of the day at the Italian powerhouse brand.

Another Italian brand also took to dance for it’s starting point this season. Dolce & Gabbana went as far as to have some tap dancing on its catwalk as models in speakeasy inspired outfits sauntered down the runway in glittering leopard print dinner jackets, musical interment motif sweaters and pineapple prints on just about every other garment. It was a 1930 Jazz hot collection that knew how to blow its own horn.

Dean and Dan Caten of Dsquared2 sent out their models in 6-inch platform lifts. This was a fabulously delightful collection filled with lavish fabrics, bleach-splattered denims and sparkling camouflage looks. It was a celebratory moment that proved that positivity, especially in the wake of Orlando, could make for an uplifting show that honored the LBGT community.

For the designer Kean Etro the idea of community also played a big role in his menswear collection this season. He asked his close friends, his sister’s husband and even his two sons to walk in his show. The result was one of the most heart warming moments of Milan Fashion Week.

The Gucci collection was all about travel, with looks designed by Alessandro Michele that appeared to have been collected along the way of his personal journeys. It made for a whimsical over the top collection that was very much in keeping with the designer’s new vision for Gucci.

Silvia Venturini Fendi didn’t want to travel any further than her own back yard. Her cool retro 50s inspired show saw models in terrycloth tops and hand painted striped accessories circling around a runway long lap pool. Holiday was clearly on Fendi’s mind because of all the collection seen in Milan. This was the one that felt the most in sync with the nonchalant chic style that is sported while on a fabulous luxury vacation.


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