Gucci Spring Collection Shot By Tommy Ton 2016
Paris Fashion Week ended with the headline that Kering is replacing Alexander Wang at Balenciaga with Demna Gvasalia, the de facto leader of the Vetements collective that has catapulted from obscurity to the hottest label in town in just a year. Vetements was passed over for the LVMH and ANDAM prizes earlier this year, but Gvasalia came away with a much bigger coup: the chance to helm one of Paris’s most prestigious houses.
The Balenciaga name has been dulled somewhat by Wang’s brief stint. He didn’t really nail it at the label until his final season, just passed, when the knowledge that he would soon be leaving seemed to free him up to explore his own Californian roots, forsaking the archives—both Cristóbal’s and Nicolas Ghesquière’s. If he had done that from the beginning, it would’ve been a different story.
Now, it’s much too early to say what Gvasalia will do for Balenciaga, but let’s hope that he’s able to maintain the momentum at his own label and chart a distinct course for this grand maison. Unlike Wang, who shuttled between New York and Paris, Gvasalia has the advantage of being a local, at least.
The challenges facing the Vetements cofounder as he steps into his new role, with a Fall collection due in five months’ time, throw this season’s runway debuts into sharp relief. To put it bluntly, things could’ve gone better for Massimo Giorgetti and Peter Dundas, who showed first Fashion Week collections for Emilio Pucci and Roberto Cavalli, respectively. Dundas is an industry veteran; he’ll figure out how to bring the joy that was so native to his work at Pucci to Cavalli by next season. Giorgetti has it a little tougher, with a substantial eponymous business, MSGM, to maintain while he discovers his path at Pucci. His Spring show found him floundering a bit, caught between the house heritage and his instinct to create Instagram-friendly clothes for the street style types whom his own line appeals to. Backstage he mentioned the archives, but vintage Pucci prints were overwhelmed by a surfeit of other elements, not least of all by some silly “Emilio” motifs.