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Balenciaga Will Hold a Men's Runway Show for the First Time

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A model walks the Balenciaga fall 2016 show. Photo: Victor Virgile/Getty Images
A model walks the Balenciaga fall 2016 show. Photo: Victor Virgile/Getty Images

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While a number of designers are making moves to show their men's and women's collections together — Gucci, Public School, and Burberry among them — Balenciaga is running in the opposite direction. On Thursday, the house said that for the first time ever it will hold a runway show during men's fashion week in Paris this June.

Presenting, yes, menswear. The "masculine vision of Balenciaga's new artistic director Demna Gvasalia," to be exact — a rather decisive way of putting it in a year when androgynous clothing has gained steam at brands like Gucci and Gvasalia's Vetements. Still, given how clearly Gvasalia translated Balenciaga's legacy through his own aesthetic lens for women's fall 2016, you have to wonder if there will be more similarities than differences between his men's and women's collections for the house.

It would be nice to distill the fashion calendar's myriad switchups into one cohesive industry trend. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen — the trend is that designers are dissatisfied with how the system has been operating, but their solutions are manifold. We now have a splintering into lots of individual experiments: combining men's and women's, employing a "see-now, buy-now" model, cutting out off-season collections, and moving off the official fashion week schedule entirely. Who knows what's going to work? So, what a time to be alive.