More fashion, less provocations – a new era of Balenciaga

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As we know, the industry does not forget for a long time. A few months have passed since the scandal related to the brand’s inappropriate campaign, which almost ruined it in the eyes of the whole world. Headlines accusing the brand of promoting pedophiles remain hot. Due to this, Balenciaga, after withdrawing the campaign and issuing an official apology, withdrew from the media for some time. Some even assumed that this was the end of the iconic brand.

The brand showed up at Paris Fashion Week, fully aware that the entire fashion world was waiting for it to slip up. And that’s why this time she decided to go for minimalism. The standard spectacular atmosphere of the show was replaced by a simple set design. The main focus was on clothes. “Fashion has become a form of entertainment, but often this part overshadows its essence” – said one of the notes left at the show seats to guests. Could Balenciaga be on the path to redemption? Or maybe it’s just a purely media strategy to divert attention from its current reputation?

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An inscrutable image

Long before last year’s scandal, Balenciaga was known as a brand known for pushing fashion boundaries. Presenting yours experimental designs such as sneakers from the “Full Destroyed” collection received a very mixed media response. Nevertheless, in terms of turnover and products sold, this image seemed to serve the brand. Almost every Balenciaga experiment , ended with every single piece being sold out. It is also worth noting that consumers were willing to pay astronomical amounts for the presented clothes and accessories, which were very often deliberately distorted.

And though for a long time the label sold better than the product itself, the last campaign put an end to these experiments. Balenciaga, which usually shocked, this time crossed the line of social acceptance. So it seems that With my gentle comeback and the completely new nature of the show, I want to rehabilitate myself in people’s eyes. Certainly giving up controversial tools can be the beginning of this. However, can Balenciaga still be the same brand, emphasizing simplicity rather than originality? We will probably find out soon.

What was the Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2023 collection like?

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Like we said, during Paris Fashion Weekthe brand gave up dramatic solutions, such as a run in the mud or a staged snowstorm. This season, the set was minimalist, and the catwalk itself turned out to be a pure ivory carpet. The show itself was an event space in the Carrousel du Louvre shopping center, which served as a frequent venue for fashion shows until the early 2000s.

The current creative director, Demna Gvasalia, shows that the brand still has a lot to present from the purely clothing side. The collection included 54 styles . There were clearly tailored suits, evening dresses and a new handbag called Huge Bag. You could see delicate and feminine accents that made the collection more human and pleasant to listen to.

Despite this, it still emanated the spirit of the brand, with classic motifs such as: high-necked sequin dresses, boxy leather jackets, huge layers of denim, and bug-eyed sunglasses.

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Models walked down the runway dressed in a slightly playful mix floral dresses, characteristic structured tailoring and elements taken straight from street fashion. The brand’s streetwear influence was visible, for example, in the addition of a hoodie with inflated forms sewn into the sleeves. The entire show was accompanied by calm piano notes, which became more and more electronic as the show went on.

“The idea was to be 200 percent me,” Demna told reporters backstage after the show. “My intention was to clean it up, edit it to the point where it speaks for itself.” The show presented by Balenciage was certainly a step in repairing the brand’s damaged image. Hopefully not the last one.