BALENCIAGA Fall 2023 fashion show marked a significant departure from their previous events, as creative director Demna chose to focus solely on the clothing and not the spectacle. The show, held at the historic Carrousel du Louvre, marked the brand’s first appearance since their highly publicized advertising scandal last November. In response to the controversy, Demna refrained from the celebrity fanfare and dystopian sets that had become his signature and instead, put the emphasis on the art of clothing-making.
The show was a triumph of Demna’s tailor and dressmaking skills, as the coed collection was divided into three chapters. The first chapter featured pants that were transformed into jackets, dresses, and trench coats, reminiscent of Maison Margiela, where Demna worked earlier in his career. The second chapter was a nod to biker clothing, with models appearing in oversized padded boots and hunchbacked due to the inflated inner airbags. The final chapter showcased loose dresses and elegant evening wear, with the closing look featuring a black feather-covered gown belted with a bow.
Demna revealed that his passion for his craft was his salvation during the controversy, as he used his time to escape into his work and create the collection. He noted that the pants transformations were the only elements in the collection created post-crisis, and he had been working on the collection since October, with the plan of opening a new creative chapter and focusing more on the clothes.
In a post-show interview, Demna discussed the pressure he faced to resign and to create “boring clothes” to avoid future controversy. He stated that he didn’t want to become someone else, and he would continue to focus on the garments and not the spectacle in his future shows for BALENCIAGA.
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