Demna Gvasalia is known for many things, one of which is how he ushered in a witty streetwear sensibility to Balenciaga. In the past year or so however, Gvasalia has been increasingly paring back the novelties and favouring a more grown-up approach – in his ready-to-wear apparel at least – and this was clearly evident in the house’s F/W’19 collection, with its focus on clean tailoring.
That same grown-up sensibility can be found in Balenciaga’s latest bag, the Hourglass, an elegant top-handle number that debuted at the brand’s F/W’19 show.
To those who might be accustomed to the designer’s penchant for the wacky (remember those platform Crocs from S/S’18?), the Hourglass is admittedly reminiscent of more vintage styles. It’s unexpected but the end result is lovely. Perhaps the most unusual aspect of the bag is its curved, crescent-shaped base, a reference to Cristobal Balenciaga’s signature Basque-waist coats (a body-skimming fit, giving the effect of a nipped waist). Alongside the bag’s other geometric details (its trapezoid shape and the distinctive B-shaped buckle), the overall effect is one that is both classic yet sharply contemporary.
The Hourglass comes in three sizes (XS, Small and Medium) and can be worn as is or cross-body style via a detachable strap. It’s a tough act to balance between classic styles and contemporary design but we think Balenciaga has nailed it here – small wonder the Hourglass is among fashion editor Imran Jalal’s top picks for the season.