For any magazine editor or client, one of the most exciting moments of fashion week is the arrival of the invitation for the Balenciaga show. As usual, the coveted pass offers a hint of what the following show could entail, and can range from a simple golden thimble to wear around your neck to a smashed iPhone. This time, for the Spring 2023 show hosted over this weekend in New York City, the fashion fantasy started as guests received a paper bag with a stack of Balenciaga faux dollar bills. The immediate effect on social media was priceless.
As we live in a society where according to Demna, “money is the ultimate fetiche”, the show was hosted at the iconic New York Stock Exchange, which was transformed into a powerful runway lit up by glitching screens, with models wearing fetishist rubber masks. It was all about high energy and fast-paced walking, in true New York City style.
Given that Balenciaga is a French brand, Paris was pretty much present during the first section of its show, as it used this occasion to debut its new line, Garde-Robe. Less exclusive than couture, but more elevated than regular ready-to-wear, Garde-Robe is all about luxe materials and sharp finishing, with a true Parisian DNA. Reinvented with new generous “Gvasalian” proportions—and mostly, in black—there were blouses with powerful shoulders and pussy bows, skirts and overcoats in embossed croc, silky trench coats, reconstructed tuxedos, and long bodycon dresses (the sparkly edition really caught our eye) that will surely make wonders on Isabelle Huppert, one of the House muses.
While the first looks promised to please a more sophisticated audience, the second section at Balenciaga’s showcase brought in color and statement street wear. The new pieces (available only on the brand’s website and at the Madison Avenue boutique) are the result of a new collaboration with Adidas, which also recently partnered with Gucci. Once again, volumes were generous, with the visual identities of both brands merging in revisited logos.
If you ever attend a Balenciaga show, you’ll quickly realize that the style is not only on the runway, and it is a joy to witness the creativity of the fans of the brand. Among the guests, we spotted Kanye West (but no Kim Kardashian), Pharrell Williams, Chloë Sevigny, and Anna Wintour. This is a type of hype and star power that money can’t buy.