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Paris Fashion Week

Balenciaga AW16

Balenciaga AW16-Paris Fashion Week

Alexander Wang may have presented an all-white collection last season but it was new recruit, Demna Gvasalia, who wiped the Balenciaga slate clean with his Autumn/Winter 2016 collection. The designer cleverly infused the famed fashion house’s sculpted shapes in street style staples such as biker, denim and puffa jackets - worn off-the-shoulder, suddenly they seemed so haute.

Tweedy skirt suits were anything but conventional thanks to their stiff peplum shapes and rounded shoulders, and oversized sleeves featured on every look. Perhaps the biggest departure were the floral tea frocks, which were modelled on traditional dresses from Georgia, Gvasalia’s native country, some worn with candy cane-striped tights, others with same-pattern boots.

"Demna has, in one fell swoop, reinvigorated Balenciaga and influenced quite a few trends for the season at other houses."
Helen David, Harrods Chief Merchant

So fresh felt the show that within hours the street style set seemed to have resurrected their old quilted jackets and the collarbone-baring silhouette was applied to all manner of tops, from white Oxford shirts to trench coats. Let’s call it the Demna effect.

"Demna has, in one fell swoop, reinvigorated Balenciaga and influenced quite a few trends for the season at other houses. The first look set the scene for a new skirt suit, sexy yet couture-like in its padded hips; we then saw a series of beautifully wearable coats, dresses, knits, and, our favourite of the season, streetwear, via trenches and puffy quilted cocoon coats," said Helen David, Harrods Chief Merchant, of the show.