|The Celine collection was a highlight of Sunday’s shows. — AFP/VNA Photo|
PARIS — Paris fashion’s trendsetter of the moment Demna Gvasalia spun heads yet again with a Balenciaga show that featured car mat skirts.
With the brand mired in a row over the alleged mistreatment of more than 150 models at the casting for the show, the Georgian wunderkind brought the spotlight back on the clothes with a string of cheeky and breathtaking innovations.
Having caused a sensation last year with his trench coats and jackets pulled down off the shoulder — worn most memorably by Kim Kardashian the night she was tied up and robbed in Paris — the young designer has given the venerable aristocratic label a second almighty yank.
This time as well as wrap-around skirts inspired by rubber car mats, Gvasalia gave his coats another violent tug, pulling their right side up over the left shoulder.
The effect both startled and delighted critics, with Vogue declaring within minutes that he had brought the label’s "legacy forward with audacity and wit".
Gvasalia included a series of spectacular, floatily oversized ball gowns at the end of the show, the first couture dresses the brand has shown since the twilight years of its founder Cristobal Balenciaga in the late 1960s.
The 35-year-old told the legendary Vogue critic Suzy Menkes backstage that he only finished the dresses at the last minute, having studied photographs of classic Balenciaga gowns once worn by European royalty.
"They are all made by hand. The pieces all came together yesterday, like it happens in couture, last minute, because there were so many people working on them," Gvasalia said.
"They were all lying like corpses on these tables in the atelier, which was quite an amazing experience." — AFP