Including Hello Kitty accessories, an homage to America’s Next Top Model, and an IRL doctor walking
Today marked the first Balenciaga show since Demna Gvasalia announced his departure from Vetements earlier this month. On the outskirts of Paris, the iconoclastic designer’s SS20 outing saw attendees line a spiralling runway in an entirely EU-blue space, as the air-con unit blasted out freezing cold gusts and foreboding, Psycho-esque music played, before a raging thrash metal soundtrack kicked in. It might have been a Sunday morning, but one thing was clear: Demna is not about that cosy brunch life (duh).
Having presented a futuristic collection ideal for the office circa 2087 for SS19, Balenciaga was back in the boardroom this time around, with heavy wool overcoats, subversive takes on the pussybow blouse, and its signature tailoring – all wide-shoulders and typically challenging cuts – high on the agenda.
Worn by a line-up of artists, students, writers, gallerists, and even one IRL doctor, looks were finished with severe square-toe boots, knife heels, Balenciaga badges, and classic bags embossed with the Parisian label’s logo or rendered in faux crocodile skin. Elsewhere, five models in Cristobal-worthy, Couture-esque gowns closed the show, with two in gold and silver pleated metallic dresses, and three in red, black, and blue velvet, each garment bouncing as they walked.
As usual, though, when it comes to a Balenciaga show, there were also a lot of irreverent details you might have missed. Here’s five of our faves.
THE BALENCIAGA’S TOP MODEL T-SHIRT
Demna has been subverting widely recognised logos (corporate or otherwise) since day one, with the likes of DHL, Playstation, McDonald’s, Internet Explorer, and even Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential bid signature all twisted in his hands at both Vetements and Balenciaga. As long-standing fans of America’s Next Top Model, though, we were particularly excited to see this obvious homage to the show making its way around the winding catwalk. Sadly, no sign of any smizing from the stony-faced model.
THE HELLO KITTY BAG
...seen not once but three times on the runway this season. With Balenciaga having spent the last few seasons creating office-appropriate clothing for the 9-5ers of the future (although tbh it will probably be 9-9 by that point), this particular piece proves things never change. Seemingly, there will always be that ‘kooky’ person in the office waiting to accost you by the kettle, ‘You Don’t Have To Be Crazy To Work Here, But It Helps’ mug in hand.
THE LED SUNGLASSES
The future is now! Or rather, the 90s’ vision of the future is now, if these sunglasses are anything to go by. According to the label, the LED lights in the slick new frames are activated when the arms are extended, and can blink, stay static or flash, and change through a number of colours depending on your mood. Expect to see them infiltrate your feed in 3… 2… 1...
THE ILLUSTRATED BALENCIAGA PRINT
As featured across a mid-length silk dress with a pussybow detail, the new motif features hand-drawn illustrations of the label’s signature Triple S sneakers, logo-emblazoned bowling bags, and knife-point boots, and pays homage to archive styles by the likes of Hermès and Chanel: because Lord knows Demna loves a reference here and there. There was also a perfume bottle illustration. Could a fragrance be on its way?
THE IPHONE 11
Well, when you’re dripping in Balenciaga from head-to-toe, you can’t really be walking around with a beaten-up old 6 in your pocket, can you?