Once You Set Eyes on Balenciaga's Spandex Boot Pants, You Can't Look Away
When Vetements's Demna Gvasalia took the helm at Balenciaga last season, he didn't offer us a new perspective on street style, he won us over. It's only now, on the Spring 2017 runways, that Gvasalia's peers are experimenting with the ideas he set in motion: a coat pulled off the shoulders so the arms lock in place and bags so oversize it's hard to imagine what you might put it them.
Fitting, then, that for Gvasalia's second collection for Balenciaga, he explored the concept of fetishism. We're already so obsessed with the objects he creates and how they appear on the body. You could start with the spandex boot pants. They stood out not only because they were offered in bright, sexy colors like bubblegum pink, deep sky blue, and grape, but because of how they ran up the leg, starting at a point and disappearing mid-thigh. We were only sometimes offered a glimpse at just how high they reached on the hip.
While we imagined that, latex capes and oversize puffer vests protected full looks from our view — that was almost frustrating. Groovy floral prints gave off the illusion of bodysuits on separates or form-hugging dresses. The heavy duty totes (or better yet, mattress covers) were grasped firmly and mostly held away from the body, as if the models were about to expose of the inner contents. These and the patent square-toe thigh-highs will become It items soon enough. Who knows if anyone will be able to get their hands on the swirling brooches pinned to shirts, fascinating enough because Cristóbal Balenciaga once touched them.
Finally, even the show's live stream reflected the idea of fixation. It captured the runway from a sideways angle, so that you couldn't really see the clothes, but the audience's clear arousal by them as the models walked by to Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You." Kim Kardashian sat in the front row, pulling off the Balenciaga signature: a pulled apart trench with nothing underneath and checked boots meant just for you to check out.