The physical and digital shows at Paris fashion week so far have exceeded expectations. Despite the fashion world having to identify alternative ways to showcase the season’s collections, Paris fashion week has been met with innovation and show-stopping presentations from all that have graced the runway so far, and Balenciaga’s Spring/Summer 2021 display was no different. Creative director Demna Gvasalia presented his collection in a digital format this year, against a backdrop of the most renowned streets and landmarks of the French capital.
However, with three days of shows left, perhaps some of the best had been saved for last. It has been quite a year for Balenciaga, from returning to the couture fashion schedule after 52 years, to dealing with the impacts of the Covid-19. The luxury French fashion house is known for serving immersive experiences on its runways, and although this season’s display was starkly different from what can usually be expected from Balenciaga, it did not disappoint.
Gvasalia brought viewers on an after-dark tour of the streets of Paris, as models strutted on the boulevards of the French capital morphing into one another as they moved. The show resembled a music video, with a techno-infused backdrop on the SS21 collection as the models walked to a cover of Corey Hart’s 1894 hit I Wear My Sunglasses At Night, by electronic artist Loîk Gomez, otherwise known as BFRND. The models embodied the lyrics of the song, each wearing sunglasses with every look. As the catwalk went virtual, we got to see the collection in all its glory, with each model singing along to the music as they walked on the cobbled streets, subterranean tunnels, along the Seine and across the Pont Alexandre III bridge bringing the show to its conclusion.
The collection stayed true to Gvasalia’s previous classicism and minimalism panache, yet presented a refreshing glimpse of sport, street, and salon wear infused with glamor. Gvasalia, again, brought streetwear reflecting casual nostalgia, to the realm of high fashion. The pre-recorded show also portrayed the creative director’s environmental efforts, noting that “93.5% of the plain materials in this collection are either certified sustainable or upcycled. 100% of the print bases have sustainable certifications.” This echoed throughout the show, as many of the looks appeared to be unisex, and one size, as it will “diminish the environmental impact of a gendered production model.”
If you happened to miss Balenciaga’s digital show on October 4, we have you covered. You can tune into the video below, to see everything you missed.