BALENCIAGA‘s Spring 2024 collection unravels the captivating narrative of Demna’s resurgence in fashion, a manifestation of his unyielding spirit and refusal to capitulate to the normative aesthetics that saturate the industry.
A year marked by solitude turned into a canvas of artistic defiance. The previous fall bore witness to an introspective Demna, curating a fashion assemblage that was reminiscent of a family reunion. His mother, husband Loik, and close associates, were not just spectators but active participants, wearing the collection, offering a familial warmth to the chilly atmosphere of the high fashion.
Identity and authenticity are words often thrown around lavishly, yet they find a sincere representation in this collection. Demna’s creations, an antithesis to luxury, are manifested exuberantly. The BALENCIAGA wallets morphing into faux passports were symbolic, echoing his consistent ethos of fashion being a representation of identity, rather than a blind chase after opulence.
His earlier foray into ready-to-wear collections, embroiled with controversy, was a reflection of fear. Yet, Spring 2024 stands as testimony to his evolution. Rough, unpolished, and unabashedly authentic, it was a contrast to the polished aesthetics that once delineated his work. Oversized hoodies, jeans, sinister leather coats, and military camouflage find harmony with plissé evening gowns and floral prints.
The collection is punctuated by a silent protest against the pretentious quiet-luxury trend. Inspired by a stark realization during a vacation in the South of France, where conforming to societal expectations of fashion led to preferential treatment, Demna decided to magnify his authentic style. The blending of identity and attire was not an option anymore.
This personal and professional evolution led to a paradigm shift. BALENCIAGA’s Spring 2024 collection, marked by oversized sneakers, vast tailoring, and intricate detailing, is a brave departure from the monotone. Recycled clothes morph into artistic pieces, bearing testimony to Demna’s skill and his allegiance to sustainability.
Yet, amid this carnival of colors and forms, the complexity of fashion’s creation isn’t lost. The collection emphasizes the meticulous labor, creativity, and craft ingrained in every piece.
He does not shy away from edginess and boldness. Bathrobe coats, high-heeled hotel slippers, tattoo-print mesh T-shirts, and shredded jeans are not just apparel but a statement against the banality of fitting in. The inclusion of his close ones in the showcase is not just personal but symbolic of the intersectionality between the personal and professional, the identity and the attire.
© Photos: BALENCIAGA
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