Elevating the everyday, loftily appropriating the mundane, propelling the minutiae of daily life into the dreamy stratosphere of fashion... just another day in the life of designer Demna Gvasalia, the wunderkind behind both Balenciaga and his own label, Vetements.
Gvasalia's knowledge of his consumer radiates through Balenciaga's new lookbook: models walking while staring at their phones, listening to music, and taking calls - perhaps, now that our phones are practically an extension of our bodies, the most ordinary thing we do every day.
In an interview with WWD this February, Gvasalia explained that his penchant for taking the most quotidian of aesthetics and turning them into high-end fashion (think of the DHL tee and the blue IKEA bag) wasn't in fact appropriation, but a practise that dates back to French artist Marcel Duchamp. Whatever the process is, the designer's knack for making us see our everyday world through a new lens is the kernel of genius at the centre of his global appeal.
The delectable Pre-Fall '19 collection has all the hallmarks of Gvasalia's vision: David Byrne-esque boxy jackets with cinched waists, skin-tight leather booties with the smallest of kitten heels, asymmetric silk dresses, and flashes of ultra-contemporary neon paired with heritage fabrics such as tweed. The lookbook concept only makes the mega-collectable pieces even more brilliant.
Here's what we imagine the models are doing on their phones, from listening to bad music to cancelling plans. Because the phone-obsessed models are us and we are the phone-obsessed models.