The Balenciaga show in Paris this morning was an analogy for the struggle to fight fashion’s prescribed boxes. All eyes were on the brand this season as they showcased in another constructed showspace, this time a mud-filled battlefield made in the shape of a runway. Demna’s wish for this collection and fashion as a whole is to “express a state of mind”, and that he has done, illustrating everything he needs to say with the visuals of this collection rather than with verbal explanations. We’ve lined up some of the key takeaways from Baleciaga’s SS23 show.
KANYE WEST OPENS THE SHOW
Rapper, designer, artist and now model (without putting him into a box), Ye took to opening the Balenciaga show donning a full utilitarian military suit. Almost unrecognisable, Kanye went full undercover mode, in the padded military jacket and hit signature cap and hoodie combo. Pacing down the runway in his “security” fit, this cemented the relationship between himself and the brand as a partner and collaborator of Demna’s.
BALENCIAGA’S BATTLEFIELD: THE SHOW SPACE
If there’s one thing Balenciaga knows how to do well, it’s creating unimaginable show spaces that convey the entire mood and heart of the collection or message Demna wishes to convey. This season, Balenciaga created an entire runway made of mud and sludge – featuring hills, catwalks and puddles. The FROW became a splash zone, as models strutted through puddles at speed. The show was lit to be dark – only revealing the models until near the show’s end, at which point lighting flashed signifying the crescendo.
“The set of the show is a metaphor for digging for truth and being down to earth. Let us let everyone be anyone and make love not war.” Demna expressed in the show notes.
FASHION’S FURRY FRIENDS
Several models were spotted with furry teddy handbags strapped with harnesses. Donning Balenciaga t-shirts and mohawks, Balenciaga’s furry friends were in complete contrast to the dark themes and lighting, yet fitting the themes of the show perfectly by breaking out of their mould. We want a Balenciaga bear please!
TRY WALKING A MILE IN BALENCIAGA’S DUTCH CLOGS
If you thought walking through mud was hard, put on some Balenciaga clogs. The collection presented several thick-soled dutch clogs. A soon-to-be fan favourite? Most definitely. Almost undetectable between the mud splattered clothing and the puddles themselves, the clogs made an unexpected but welcomed appearance in Balenciaga’s classic dark shades.
THE SCARVES OF OUR DREAMS
Remember ‘Slinkies”? Well now you can wear one. Swirly scarves bounced down the runway on the models necks as they showcased the soon to be it-accessory of the season. Seen in pink, yellow and black the scarves show Balenciaga’s imaginative design process and ability to create new silhouettes and shapes that get us excited about fashion time and time again.
This collection was an amalgamation of all of our Balenci faves. It was hoodies, oversized puffers and trenches, corsetry and full black fits galore. With an eclectic mix of styles and colours thrown in from the furry handbags to the arm sleeve leather tote bags. The shades of black were interrupted by bright looks such as pink strappy dresses and white platform gogo boots combo that we’re drooling over (that and the fluffy neon dress that we’re sure Kim already has in her closet).
The shield sunglasses caught our eyes (no pun intended). Coming in multiple shapes, from pointed to oval, all of the shades fully covered the models faces. Demna created an SS23 collection with unexpected but comfortable Balenciaga looks for every Balenciaga fiend out there. If you want shine and glimmer, understated chicness or a full leather gown made from deconstructed handbags, Balenciaga’s got you. Just don’t call it a viral moment.
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