Balenciaga's much anticipated Pre-Fall 2016 collection is here. According to a statement from the house, which changed creative leadership last year, ousting Alexander Wang and bringing in Demna Gvasalia, the Pre-Fall collection was the work of the internal team, designed between the departure of Wang in July and the first runway show by Gvasalia in March. Vogue's Sarah Mower is rightfully skeptical, as the collection doesn't just whisper of Vetements, Gvasalia's own label, it yells.
Mower writes: "Even if Gvasalia hadn’t had a chance to design the whole, there was a detectable Vetements-related flavor in the styling of this lookbook and in one or two pieces, to boot. Especially in the thigh-high stiletto heeled boots, as it happens—as seen here, printed in the Balenciaga windowpane grid pattern, the archival Vichy check, or in tiny florals on black. Then there’s the hoodie, shot in profile to emulate the Balenciaga concave-front, sway-back silhouette, and, to clinch the case, the flowing lines of a long, voluminous, undeniably Vetements-like flower-printed dress."
But not all is lost from Balenciaga of yore (read: pre-Wang): One of the references, picked from the time of Nicolas Ghesquière, was an oversize shearling aviator jacket, refurbished with a printed collar spelling out the brand name, a neat trick Gvasalia reprised with the large Balenciaga labels he put on the puffer jacket and anorak in his debut Fall show," writes Mower.