At Balenciaga‘s historic salons at 10 Avenue George V in Paris, Demna presented his second Haute Couture collection for the house, a collection that once again set minds on fire and confirmed the visionary spirit of its creative director.
It all started with a series of 100% black molded neoprene looks, complete with RoboCop-like face screens developed in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz racing engineers. Shoulders were small and rounded, waist nipped, hips jutting, for both men and women. Some models hold purse-like boomboxes in their hands, trailing haunting music in their wake.
Welcome to the dystopian thrills of Demna fashion.
“This year I decided that I needed to put more of myself into it, and kind of find a new future, you know?”, said Demna to Vogue. “This is why the lineup started with very otherworldly, almost futuristic neoprene looks, which was my idea of interpreting gazar in 2022 – member of the gaze family, gazar is a high-fashion fabric invented by fabric maker Abraham in 1958 for Cristobal Balenciaga. Lending itself easily to unexpected distortions and volume creation, gazar subsequently contributed to Cristobal Balenciaga’s prestige worldwide“.
Next came sculpted t-shirts and sweatshirts with unexpected ripples thanks to a mix of jersey and aluminum, satin-lined denim with silver buttons, black multi-pocket leather pants, recycled parkas blown up into beach ball jackets – more than 25 percent of the collection was made with recycled pieces.
Then the masks came off, and the evening wear and famous faces appeared. Long, sleek, off-the-shoulder sheath dresses embroidered with feathers, beads or sequins; gorgeous sculptural trench coats; faux fur coats; red and pink dresses with architectural details on the back; mini-dresses draped in yellow silk taffeta, they were worn by a host of celebrities including Christine Quinn, Dua Lipa, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Campbell, Bella Hadid and Kim Kardashian among others.
And finally the bride, incandescent beauty, was hidden under an extraordinary tulle veil embroidered with myriad crystals, silver leaves and sequins.
High fashion signed by new codes and that tells the story of the times, merging traditional and exceptional know-how with cutting-edge technology and upcycling.