During a runway show, you don’t expect to see models carrying shopping bags. Despite the fact that women who can afford the clothes that debut at shows like that of Balenciaga Fall 2014 often find themselves carrying shopping bags, most runways try to divorce themselves as much as possible from the drudgery of actually selling clothes, all the way from the performance-art settings to the impracticality of the garments therein.
I think most of us, me included, thought that there was a decent chance Alexander Wang might fall flat on his face at the helm of Balenciaga. Maybe not probable, but not exactly impossible, either. Thankfully, Wang’s results in two seasons as Balenciaga’s creative director have yielded the exact opposite – two focused, luxurious, modern collections that are built solidly atop Balenciaga’s historic foundation.
In general, it doesn’t bother me that so many designers have been “inspired” by Celine to adjust the gusset structure on some of their new bags. When a silhouette becomes so widely adored and connects so strongly with high-end customers, other brands would be silly not to explore whether it would be worth implementing in their own designs.
Until I saw the Balenciaga Serpent Arena Classic Work Bag, it had never occurred to me that I hadn’t ever seen a snakeskin Bal Motorcycle bag. After all, the design has been around in one incarnation or another for over a decade, and we’ve seen it in everything from straw to crocodile – surely there had been at least a python version, right?