A modern day symphony set against the backdrop of Paris’ iconic vistas, BALENCIAGA Resort 2024 defies the conventional notions of resort or spring fashion. Grit and romance blend seamlessly under the masterful direction of Demna Gvasalia.
The unveiling took place in front of Balenciaga’s historic headquarters at 10 Avenue George V, with the images shot against iconic Parisian landmarks like Place Vendôme and the Arc de Triomphe. Yet, the story told wasn’t the stereotypical Parisian fairytale – there were no echoes of “Emily in Paris“. Instead, Gvasalia added a healthy dose of his trademark underground energy to this pictorial, using his signature style to weave a narrative of grit, determination, and power.
The models, clad in black, spill out from the imposing wooden doors of BALENCIAGA’s historic couture house. Their imposing silhouettes, draped in enveloping layers of dramatic designs, contrast beautifully with the romantic cityscape. Despite the absence of traditionally “resort” or “spring” elements, Gvasalia’s designs portray a practical adaptation to Paris’ often erratic weather patterns. The unconventional attire for a resort collection is epitomized in pieces such as extra-long trenches, voluminous overcoats, and formidable puffers.
Bright moments arrive in small doses, like refreshing gusts of wind against an overcast sky. These are seen in the colorful mesh bags adorned with crystal embroideries and tartan linings, adding an unexpected vibrancy to the otherwise monochrome collection. The finale piece, a silvery fringe gown that would fit perfectly on a superstar like Beyoncé on her “Renaissance” world tour, is the grand finale that ties the narrative together.
The frenetic energy of the collection was emphasized by a five-minute film that accompanied its launch, featuring models navigating through the city streets, performing everyday activities under the grey, windy skies. Interestingly, the house revealed that the filming was done in a single take, adding an unfiltered authenticity to the narrative.
The new Garde-Robe range is brought into the spotlight in this collection, echoing the success of the previous year’s show at the New York Stock Exchange. These “refined wardrobe essentials” reflect a type of quiet luxury, but the infusion of Gvasalia’s characteristic swagger and gothic appeal creates an intriguing juxtaposition. It’s high fashion that hasn’t abandoned its street roots.
Demna’s idiosyncratic design style is evident in the collection’s stand-out pieces: oversized, raw-edged blazers, flowing knife-pleated jersey dresses, face-concealing hoodies, and dramatic footwear with an imposing presence. Each piece in this collection embodies the irresistible allure of industrial-strength cool.
The BALENCIAGA Resort 2024 collection is an homage to the resilience and elegance of the city and its inhabitants. In Demna’s universe, resort wear takes on a new meaning – not one of leisure, but of strength, attitude, and a deep, pulsating energy that matches the heartbeat of the city itself.
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