Demna Gvasalia continues to infuse his unique street-style perspective into the brand narrative of Balenciaga. His latest offering, the Balenciaga Cruise 2024 (Resort 2024) collection, deftly mirrors the human experience of navigating Paris’s enchanting Avenue Georges V, captured in an immersive video presentation. Just as the street pulsates with eclectic characters and their distinctive routines, so does this collection dance with diversity and exudes the familiarity of everyday life – yet all with a distinctive Balenciaga flair.
Gvasalia, a master observer of street fashion since his tenure at Vetements, presents the Balenciaga Maison at number 10 as a revolving door of life in motion. The Parisian boulevard comes alive with denim-wearing adolescents, diligent motorcycle couriers, elegant dog walkers, agile skateboarders, and fashion-forward individuals donned in black hoodies – all rendered as if plucked from a world where Balenciaga is the uniform of choice.
The film unravels an entrancing narrative, replete with moments of humor and relatability. Insider members of the “Balenciaga gang“, ensconced in their distinctive sunglasses, are caught unawares by a sudden Parisian downpour. Each character’s reaction – panic, exasperation or inconvenience – manifests the charm of candid moments in urban life. The cinematic frames even capture an amusing incident of a chic individual in a beige mackintosh, inadvertently leaving their keys – or more likely, their phone – behind in the house.
Gvasalia’s playful portrayal of these scenarios ties back to the brand’s roots, signifying his intention to guide the brand’s narrative towards its Parisian heritage. Aptly christened ”Capital B”, the collection oscillates between grandeur and street sensibility. An accompanying lookbook – shot in opulent spaces with stunning views of Parisian landmarks – displays the quintessential Balenciaga silhouettes: oversized suiting, trapezoid coats, puffy trenches, hoodies and the iconic ”Dynamo round” sunglasses.
From structured black tailoring to relaxed denim, motorcycle leathers to comfortable sweatpants, the pre-collection spans across the menswear and womenswear categories. It also features opulent pieces from the high-luxe “Garde-Robe” collection, including the dazzling silver-fringed embroidered dress that concludes the collection.
The heart of Gvasalia’s vision, however, lies in the accessories. Walking the fine line between everyday object reappropriation and absurdity, Gvasalia offers the ‘towel’ wrap skirts that are indistinguishable from actual towels, and a boot-shaped Rodeo boot bag. Even the classic market bags receive a Balenciaga makeover, adorned with sparkling rhinestones.
But among these distinctive pieces, the ”Romeo mules”, characterized by hyper-elongated, turned-up square toes, make their debut as a fresh, almost comical addition. Gvasalia cleverly blurs the line between the cool and the ridiculous. It’s a testament to his ingenuity that he provokes the question – at what point does the outrageous become the norm, simply because it’s the way everyone on the street dresses?
In the Balenciaga Cruise 2024 collection, Demna Gvasalia offers a delightfully unexpected dialogue between high fashion and streetwear. His designs are not merely clothes but an ode to the street – transforming everyday life into a couture spectacle, forever questioning our perception of the “normal”. His talent lies in this playful dichotomy, as he continues to shape the future of Balenciaga with a cheeky, yet reverential nod to its Parisian origins.
The “Capital B” collection has undoubtedly added an exciting chapter to Balenciaga’s evolving fashion saga. It provokes thought and intrigues the viewer, while still maintaining an approachable and relatable narrative that resonates with the modern individual. This is Balenciaga’s portrayal of life, in all its nuanced, beautifully chaotic glory, as told through the language of apparel.
The Cruise 2024 collection highlights Gvasalia’s genius in creating designs that challenge norms while becoming norms themselves. From the towel wrap skirts to the Romeo mules, Gvasalia explores the thin line that separates the ordinary from the extraordinary, showcasing the ability to take a common object, turn it on its head and craft it into a statement piece that screams Balenciaga.
It’s a testament to Gvasalia’s prowess as a creative director that he can turn a typical street scene into a muse for an entire collection. Each outfit, each accessory, is an individual story of its own, threading together to create a narrative that is uniquely Balenciaga – a world where fashion norms are continually questioned and redefined.
Balenciaga Cruise 2024 is a journey, a slice of life on Avenue Georges V, where the ordinary becomes extraordinary and where everyday moments are turned into high-fashion stories. It serves as a reminder of the dynamic, unpredictable, and always stylish world that we inhabit, a world where even a sudden downpour can become a moment of glamour and panache.
As the fashion world eagerly awaits to see what Gvasalia has in store next, one thing remains clear: the narrative of Balenciaga under his stewardship is one of unorthodox innovation and cheeky surprises, with a strong sense of connection to its Parisian roots.
So as Gvasalia continues to redefine our perception of street fashion and high couture, we are left pondering his ultimate question: “Is it cool, or is it silly? Is it cool because it’s silly?”. In the world of Balenciaga Cruise 2024, it’s perhaps a bit of both. And that’s exactly what makes it so fascinating.