The trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange was the runway of the Balenciaga Spring 23 Show. Just lately Wall Street is going through a delicate moment, and the news are all talking about a looming recession.
Demna always moves so confidently through shades, but in this case, backstage after show, he said that he wanted to give back to the place that has been so instrumental to his success at the brand.. and so, even show invitation was on point: a wad of fake hundred dollar-bills.
On Sunday morning, the stock was inactive and the atmosphere of the wait through the guests was thrilling…as this was the first show in almost twenty years that Balenciaga held away from Paris.
” The most important kind of challenge for any kind of creative is to make a product that is desirable, to create desire. That’s what fashion should do.”
The Collection was divided into three different sections, a mix of ready-to-wear (the new Garde-Robe line), Eveningwear, and Balenciaga / adidas.
It started with the “Garde-robe”, inspired by the relaunch of Balenciaga’s couture collection last year. The selection was made up of wardrobe staples in sophisticated cuts, sharp finishing, and luxe materials: wool, silk, gabardine, artisanal denim. Suiting, separates, and outerwear are pared down and redefined, cut in oversized, without any branding other than bold silhouettes and precise tailoring with minimalist construction techniques. Silk jacquard blouses add an ‘80s touch to the collection.
This raw elegance and tailoring was followed by the Eveningwear as a second-skin, updated extra-formal attire: sequined bodycon gowns, reconstructed tuxedos, floor-length silk trenches with trains worn with padded pumps. There were also majestic extra-sized lace-up boots worn in contrast with suits and trenchs.
The third and last part recontextualized elements of sportswear that have been part of Balenciaga’s creative language, with an Adidas collaboration.
This marks the continued influence of the sportswear category. The ready-to-wear line, shoes, bags, jewelry and accessories feature the iconic stripes, or a trefoil symbol above the Balenciaga name in the tiny adidas font. Tracksuits, oversize t-shirts, boxer robes, and gym clothes are also part of Demna’s offering.
Accessories were no different, refreshed in the fanciest way, for instance a classic pump reimagined in an oversized, padded XL version. Steroid boots and derbies are thick in volume but lightweight, made from a single mold using super-exaggerated proportions. The Stage Shoe creates an optical illusion using negative space and balance. The Money Bag line consists of top handle bags that open from underneath and lock with a twist clasp.
For the Spring 23 collection, Demna presented three different proposals, embracing the entire system and addressing a broad target group, without excluding anyone, pursuing its primary goal of making its products desirable.
An exclusive release of selected signature pieces are available to purchase only on balenciaga.com and at the Madison Avenue, New York Balenciaga store, since right after the show.
“Clothes are a fetish, but money is the absolute fetish…”