Demna’s second couture show for Balenciaga was very much awaited. And didn’t fail to surprise us. His ability to reinterpret the old in such an innovative and unique way is quite fascinating. Demna develops the Balenciaga legacy using advanced technology and traditional techniques. Collaborations with artisans and industrial design visionaries lend another layer of technical craftsmanship and technological innovation to the mix.
The face shields in coated polyurethane are engineered by Mercedes-AMG F1 Applied Science, a division of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd. dedicated to leveraging aerospace and motorsport tech. Their aerodynamism, anti-fog capability, and breathability was developed over months of testing. I mean, if that’s not innovation, what is?
Not only did he re-create the old via draped dresses with trains, capes, scarf tops, bows, and gathered skirts, but he also reinterpreted archival pieces with exclusive colors, specially developed fabric treatments, shiny coatings, extreme silhouettes, and hand-manipulated paillettes, but over a quarter of the Balenciaga’s couture collection was made with upcycled items. Vintage bombers, parkas, car coats, and jeans are deconstructed and reassembled, transforming two garments into a newly structured one.
And finally, how can we not talk about the duality of anonymity and celebrities at this showcase, after having half the show presented with masked models, and the other half with a the red carpet-ready star cast? From Kim Kardashian and Nicole Kidman, to Naomi Campbell and Dua Lipa, the star-studded runway at Balenciaga wasted no time in going viral.
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The message at Balenciaga seemed to be clear: you’re no one, or you are someone. That’s what resumes our world today, sadly. This show solidifies the designer’s reputation of being the most acclaimed thinker in the fashion industry today, and the king of high-low cultural curation.