Demna’s Balenciaga has been experiencing a top to bottom rebranding after those images called for an Internet uproar resulting in a whole new look for the Spanish-born House, a shedding of a past skin if you will. The past seasons we’ve seen Balenciaga have been rather toned down, having got off its mud-pool theatrics and honed in on what, at the end of the day, makes up a fashion show: the clothing.
This season, it seems that Demna Gvasalia has found a happy medium between pre and post-scandal Balenciaga. Set in a theatre space where red velvet was found on attendees’ seats and draped around the runway, this show had some big name attendees like Kris Jenner, Paris and Nicky Hilton, Alexis Stone, Charli XCX, Shygirl and more, and some interesting runway faces including Demna’s mother opening the show and a secret Kim Kardashian appearance.
With a star studded lineup like that, the clothing had to follow suit – and it did. We saw opulent clothing to match the decor, classic Demna drama and hints of his tongue-and-check take on fashion that has been lacking in his past few collections. Here’s a look at some of the key pieces of the season.
The Birkin-ified bags
Balenciaga introduced a new bag this season and if the Birkin hadn’t been trademarked yet, that’s what it should have been called. The bag was found in a rectangular shape though slouched down to take a relaxed appearance, and featured a hardware clasp opening and leather strap sometimes slung on the shoulder and other times held at the hand. The most notable feature though was its decked-out accessories à la Jane Birkin, with random metallic trinkets such as Parisian souvenirs of its buildings and double B branded keys for some.
One plane ticket to Balenciaga please
Demna gave us the essential travel accessory: the Balenciaga passport. A few models carried Balenciaga-branded passports with a plane ticket with orange accents resembling those of easyJet (very Demna of him). This is the classic Balenciaga-ification of mundane, everyday things that Demna seems to be returning to this season.
Jorts gone wild
Both from his time at VETEMENTS and at Balenciaga, if there’s one thing Demna loves its an oversized fit. This is best seen in these jorts? Triple layered waistline trousers? Overlaid tops and bottoms? The look is as confusing as it is fascinating, layering a light white and grey camo print with a checked boxer-style one and ending it with floor-gazing denim featuring the crotch seam. It’s completely ridiculous and we’re here for it.
Sunny side down
Balenciaga sunglasses are always a marvel to look at – the Fennec Ovals, the Mono Cat 2.0s, the Mask Butterflies… the list goes on. This season, sunglasses were blacked-out and almost looked as if they had been put upside down, in line with Demna’s futuristic aesthetic, especially when it comes to sunnies.
Farmer’s market carrier bags
And again, Demna takes an ordinary item most of us probably know and flips it into something that will retail for thousands and thousands of dollars. Here, it’s the farmer’s market bag we saw in four iterations – strawberry, greens, red berries and bread-covered. Opinions are very polarised when it comes to this type of design we see from Demna, though considering this piece (and past pieces of the sort) will in fact get bought for whatever ridiculous price it will be set at definitely says more about current consumer culture than the designer’s methods.
The Balenciaga Hotel snug souvenir
If the Balenciaga Hotel was in fact a real place, this peignore would be the number one stolen item. Balenciaga gives us a snug yet nonetheless luxurious option with these full-length bathrobes. They came in a black, navy blue, and white version and here’s the twist; the two-inch thick belt that would normally be found around the waist was replaced by a simple shoe lace.
Kim’s shoe bag
Footwear elements were displaced everywhere this season. Kim – who failed to appear at the runway show but made it onto the lookbook nonetheless – found herself holding a silver-studded heel instead of a clutch purse. But wait, it actually was a purse with a subtle zip placed at the foot’s entry point.
Let’s ride motorcycle jackets
Demna loves a motorcycle jacket, a fact made evident this season with the appearance of six motorcycle jackets. Just like last season, we had some classic black options that pushed the boundaries of proportion in some way or other, as well as a vibrant blue version with frayed hems among others.
The womenswear offering of footwear this season gave us some pretty gravity-defying options. Soles of heels were given a curvy treatment, curling upwards past the toes, atop a slanted heel. Props to the models for not toppling over in those ones.
See now, buy now, literally
We saw a series of graphic-style oversized hoodies, including a black one that featured the words “See now, buy now” in sparkly silver and purple-outlined colours, and the brand’s website in white underneath it. This wasn’t a way for the designer to comment on the waiting time from collection-showing to store-launching, but a very literal message aimed at the chunky Cargo Sneaker shown this season and now ready to buy online.
A final bridal
The final look of course consisted of a bridal look, as we’ve seen Demna do in the past. This wasn’t just any dress but rather one made of seven vintage dresses that were cut and layered to create the look of your coquette Lana Del Rey-coded wedding of your dreams. Considering Demna chose to start the show with his mother, he had to end it keeping it with the family tapping BFRND, his husband and the artist that produces the music for all his shows, to model the look.
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