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5 things to know about Balenciaga's latest show

From BDSM to the homage to Couture

5 things to know about Balenciaga's latest show From BDSM to the homage to Couture

After finding itself catapulted into the midst of a divorce of unparalleled media impact, Balenciaga's Spring 23 show aired yesterday in America's New York City skyline. The invitation made of a bunch of $100 bills hinted that money was involved in some way, without becoming the absolute star. The ringing of the Wall Street bell punctuated the start of the show, giving way soon after to an industrial soundtrack in full Balenciaga style. Indeed, to think of a fashion brand with a turnover of 3,2 billion together with Alexander McQueen - the world in which the dream is basically moved by inance - trying to raise a critique of the system of capitalism might seem out of place, if not contradictory. Rather, Demna used a series of clichés and clichés about the habits of New Yorkers to amplify his message. The New York Stock Exchange with its nagging screens as a backdrop, the latex masks that obliterated casting identity, and the collaboration with adidas already on sale are the starting points for a reflection on capitalism by those within it.

 The latex masks

Drawing on a minimalist, super conceptual custom practiced first and foremost during Martin Margiela's defiles, Demna has repeatedly used masks of various fabrics to cover the faces of models or celebrities (see Kim Kardashian undercover at the 2021 Met Gala). Yet, to an eye trained in decoding Balenciaga's aesthetic being able to recognize some of the casting might turn out to be feasible. Not least because we are talking about a commercial imagery that has not only gone viral, but is strongly rooted in our daily lives. So much so that personal identity, the style arising from it even, has become something absolutely irretrievable in the midst of trends of all kinds. Latex masks have precisely the function of trying to recreate a classic, yet effectively recognizable style.

The collabo with adidas

After Yeezy Gap by Balenciaga, comes the collaboration between Balenciaga and adidas, a sort of sell-out metacollection. Twenty-two looks, a reissue of the colorful Triple S, sweatpants - the very ones that horrified a generation of fashion designers for whom wearing sweatpants stood to symbolize outright failure - and bloke core t-shirts. All already available on Balenciaga's website, again failing a basic rule of the fashion system that products from a collection are only available months after the show.

The revisiting of the classic wardrobe

Tailoring and sartorial dress are simply part of the creative language of a designer like Demna. This is the reason why he has never abandoned this narrative and aesthetic strand within his collections, ensuring its logical continuity in this collection as well. A collection, the Spring 23, that found in the wardrobe a personal reinterpretation of the wardrobe designed for everyday wear: silk trench coats, bodycon dresses, reconstructed tuxedos, and even dandy touches such as curled bows.

 The soundtrack

A business class of office workers parades between satin suits, leather statement coats and coffee in hand. And it's immediately New York, New York, but in Carey Mulligan & Liz Caplan's version, which interrupts like a short circuit for the electronic base. Then come long column dresses studded with lurex that light up the scene of a New York seen under Demna's demystifying lens.

 The fetish vibe

The driving color of the collection, needless to say, is black. The protagonist of the entire first act of the collection, the color is cleverly used to cover the faces of the models, depicted as silhouettes wrapped in latex masks with a bdsm flavor. The eyes, the only uncovered part of the casting, function as signals of a dark-hued erotic imagery obscured by the stock actions reflected by the monitors on the runway.