Gvasalia brings Balenciaga back to NY Runways.
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In Demna's vision, the newyorkers takes on the guise of luchadores, forced to "fight" on a daily basis to assert their identity, completely subject to the unwritten rules of financial success.

The New Yorkers seen by the georgian designer are Dark and masked businessmen.

The last Balenciaga fashion show in New York was in 2003, under the artistic direction of Ghesquière. Nineteen years later, the French Maison presented its Spring-Summer 2023 collection in an unusual location: The New York Stock Exchange.

As with each of his shows, Balenciaga amazed, fascinated and invited the audience to reflect on our “strange” society.

Before the event, Demna Gvasalia – designer and director of the brand,  left a series of clues around NY: the invitation was a fake stack of dollars, some projections of the Balenciaga logo were projected on the facades of the city’s financial centers: all unequivocally related to the theme of money, fast-paced life in NY.

Demna staged an unpredictable show, bordering on the paradoxical. The models, completely covered in latex suits and masks, paraded rotating around the monitors of the Stock Exchange trading room, while looping disturbed videos of logos of the most important international credit services and global brands; such as Coca Cola, Mastercard, Visa, as well as real-time data of stock exchange quotes and market indices.

All, accompanied by the notes of “New York New York” in the version sung by Carey Mulligan in Steve McQueen‘s filmShame’.

Balenciaga has interpreted the hectic lifestyle of New Yorkers in a surreal way.

In Demna’s vision, they take on the guise of luchadores, forced to “fight” on a daily basis to assert their identity, completely subject to the unwritten rules of financial success, careerism and self-made.

The masked characters in black, reminiscent of bondage lovers, parade at an accelerated, convulsive pace. They represent the insidious and deeply hidden vices of NY: from the “extreme” vices of the flesh, to social climbing and unbridled luxury.

The collection presented is a mix of ready-to-wear: from the new Garde-Robe line, Eveningwear to the latest Balenciaga / adidas collaboration.

Balenciaga Spring Summer 2023 consists of tailor-cut garments finished with precious materials such as silk, gabadine, artisanal denim, and spun wool.

Silhouettes take on oversize shapes, with minimalist construction techniques and essential designs; evening gowns become extra formal: women’s are fitted, paired with supersize jackets; men’s are composed of revisited tuxedos, also oversized.

Demna also presented the collection in collaboration with adidas: an organic capsule, in which the three stripes and the adidas logo are integrated with the silhouette of Balenciaga’s now-iconic Triple S‘s, naturally sporting elements of sportswear from the German giant, with the Spanish brand’s super proportions.

after the show, attendees had the opportunity to abuy pieces from the new collection in preview, at the Balenciaga store on Madison Avenue.

WORDS: Manuela Palma

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