Los Angeles, a city of dreams and surreal landscapes, recently hosted the Balenciaga Pre-Fall 2024 collection. Demna has openly declared his adoration for Los Angeles, attributing his cultural evolution to the city’s vibrant influence.
The scene at Windsor Boulevard in Hancock Park was strikingly cinematic, reminiscent of a Tim Burton Technicolor spectacle. Balenciaga’s guests, adorned in gothic attire, seemed to meld into this fantastical setting. This event marked Balenciaga‘s second significant show in the United States, following their intriguing display at the New York Stock Exchange.
Demna’s collection presented a distinct Southern California flair, diverging from last year’s focus on upscale classic garments. The lineup began with athleisure wear, evolving into a nod to Y2K fashion with velour jumpsuits and oversized shearling boots. These pieces echoed the celebrity culture that shaped Demna’s early inspirations.
A unique collaboration with LA’s famed Erewhon Market for the event further highlighted the collection’s thematic depth. A specially crafted juice, as black as the sleek ensembles showcased, mirrored the city’s wellness obsession, subtly critiqued in the show’s powerful soundtrack.
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But it wasn’t all irony and playfulness. The evening wear, potentially destined for the nearby Academy Museum Gala, exuded a blend of Hollywood glamor and respectful homage to Cristobal Balenciaga himself. Dramatic wedding gowns with grandiose silhouettes and inventive dresses that seemed to reinterpret luxurious bed sheets in patent leather stood out. These pieces, unmistakably Demna in their boldness, connected with his previous designs, like the trash-bag-inspired creation from Fall 2022.
Demna’s awareness of Los Angeles’s complex social landscape was palpable. The city, often labeled as superficial, revealed its deeper layers through this collection. Balenciaga’s Pre-Fall 2024 event was a nuanced exploration of a city that has been both a muse and a mirror to the world of fashion.
© Photos: Balenciaga