Balenciaga presented embroidered evening gowns and luxurious oversized casual looks for its first haute couture collection in more than 50 years in Paris earlier this week, in one of the most anticipated fashion shows of the week.
Creative director Demna Gvasalia dressed models in yellow and pink bathrobe-like coats, loose black trouser suits and embellished evening gowns. There were also voluminous satin coats and more casual looks made up of jumpers, jeans and jackets.
The designer said he had looked to the label's Spanish founder, Cristobal Balenciaga, for inspiration, showing egg-shaped silhouettes, a draped polka dot dress in chiffon and a shantung coat embroidered with faux fur.
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Accessories included large flying saucer-like hats, visor sunglasses and long gloves.
"I see it as my creative obligation to the unique heritage of M. Balenciaga to bring the couture back to his house," Gvasalia said in show notes.
"It is the very foundation of this century-old maison."
Cristobal Balenciaga, recognised as one of the top couturiers in the fashion industry, closed his Paris-based atelier in 1968. He died four years later.
The label reopened in the 1980s but without couture.
Guests at Wednesday's show, held inside Cristobal Balenciaga's atelier, included model Bella Hadid, rappers Kanye West and Lil Baby and actor Salma Hayek, wife of Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, Balenciaga's parent company.
Paris Haute Couture week, which ended on Thursday, saw a return to live fashion shows as lockdown restrictions eased in France.
Labels also streamed their presentations for journalists, buyers and fashionistas who cannot attend in person.
Italian fashion house Fendi, for instance, used soft colours and marbleised patterns for its haute couture collection on Thursday, presenting a line of luxurious gowns and outfits.
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Designer Kim Jones said he looked to late Italian film director Pier Paolo Pasolini's depictions of Rome, where Fendi is based, for inspiration.
He presented the line digitally with a film by Italian director Luca Guadagnino. Models including Kate Moss and her daughter Lila Grace wore embroidered dresses, satin gowns in marbleised prints, embellished jackets and mosaic-like designs.