The end times have arrived at Balenciaga

Happy Sunday!

Day 48,739 of the AW20 fashion season, and reader, we’re ready for it to end. That said, there’s still plenty of exciting fashion to see over the course of the next few days, with Kanye West landing in Paris, Sunday Service choir in tow, ahead of his just-announced Yeezy: Season 8 presentation, and Y/Project, Valentino, and Louis Vuitton’s latest offerings yet to come. This morning, though, we’re up and at the Balenciaga show, as Demna Gvasalia debuts what he’s been working on for the last six months. Here’s what you missed. 


Where last season Demna took us inside a show set that resembled the EU’s headquarters, this time around the designer looked beyond the spaces where big political decisions are being made, instead turning his attention to what’s happening in the world outside. With guests making their way to their seats in near darkness, as eyes began to adjust a water-flooded runway became visible, in which the first three rows of chairs appeared to be submerged. Overhead, digital screens projected smoke billowing across the space’s ceiling, before clouds began to race across it as the show started.

KIMYE (AND KOURTNEY) SHOWED UP straight over from the aforementioned Sunday Service to take their place on the… well, we guess, technically, the fourth row? Post show, the three headed backstage to congratulate Demna on what was, in our humble opinion, one of the best shows of the season.


As usual, Demna had no intention of letting his audience ease into Sunday, with a dramatic, booming industrial soundtrack kicking in as the curtains metaphorically rose. In a succession of looks almost entirely devoid of colour, including black robes, capes, and gowns, the first few had an ecclesiastical feel to them, with one model even clutching a scarlet velvet box bag which at first glance looked like a bible, As models stormed down the runway kicking water as they went, the clouds on the ceiling made way for raging fires and flocks of scattering birds, with the visuals mirroring the surreal sense of impending doom that’s loomed large over this fashion season as a whole.


With a bunch of looks inspired by motocross, hockey, and football kits: the kind of sports which, for many fans, become akin to a religion. Also on the line-up alongside Balenciaga team footie shirts and articulated biker leathers were a series of latex, rubberist-esque pieces, including exaggerated dresses, oversized outerwear, and all-in-ones which repelled the water splashing over them. A series of skin-tight one-pieces that were simultaneously kinky and slightly retro-futuristic made up the rest of the offering. Oh, and talking of fanaticism, Balenciaga’s ‘Classic bag’ – otherwise known as the It-bag of the early 00s – was reimagined for a new gen of fashion fans, with Demna dubbing the style the ‘Neo Classic’, because duh.


As in previous seasons, a number of models made their way down the runway carrying their phones – but if you think you’re getting a signal post-apocalypse, think again. T-shirts bearing the dreaded ‘no connection’ WiFi symbols were among Demna’s latest offering, while white USB cables were used to tie up ponytails: meaning when the power fails, which it inevitably will, our beloved iPhones will be little more than inanimate, obsolete relics of a past we once knew. Happy Sunday, everyone!