Balenciaga takes over Colette with a two month installation that explores Creative Director Demna Gvasalia’s idea of luxury


BY OBI ANYANWU

Demna Gvasalia possesses a unique perspective in regards to luxury. The Vetements designer has launched several unconventional designs over the years that challenge tradition and function and make the consumer question and come to terms with their own idea of fashion. At Balenciaga, he continues the conversation with longtime clients of the atelier and new customers that are drawn to his narrative.

Gvasalia has evolved his idea of the Balenciaga world from exaggerated shoulders on Wall Street-esque, power business suits and new factory-inspired interiors at boutiques. The fashion house is a component of the luxury experience, but how does Demna interpret the experience? Is it in line with exotic locales, fast sports cars, and rich delectables? Well, yes to the locales, but no to everything else.

Balenciaga is taking over Colette, beginning on June 19, with a simulated foreign shopping experience that will allow customers to see the live street views of New York, London and Berlin through the windows of the store. The concept is made possible by installation screens over the windows.

That covers the locales, but what about the rest? Balenciaga, which is the first brand to take over the first floor of Colette, is partnering with Norwegian-German artist Yngve Holen to exhibit his art piece CAKE. Produced in 2016 by Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, CAKE is a large-scale sculpture made from the Porsche Panamera, which is considered to be the ultimate object of desire for the nuclear family that craves luxury and speed. The car was made inoperable, which begs to ask if it is possible to redistribute resources in a world of increasing inequality?

Colette will show a unique hourglass concept installation with blue sand falling from the top over white Balenciaga logos and disappearing at the bottom. Perhaps time really is the only luxury?

In addition to displaying the street views and art piece, Colette will display the Balenciaga Men’s Fall 2017 collection, offer a selection of Balenciaga women’s collection pieces made in fabrics and colors from the men’s collection, and products exclusive for Colette including sleeping masks and mugs. The takeover will also feature a ‘copycenter,’ with two digital print machines that will customize white t-shirts and hoodies with a selection of graphic overlays.

The takeover will run through August 5, 2017 and will include services like nail art with nail artist and Balenciaga collaborator Mei Kwajiri for a limited time and a sale of 100 vinyl records with the soundtrack of the Women’s Fall 17 runway show by music artist Boyfriend.


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