Updated: Dec 8, 2022
Words by Jamay Osborn
It’s a new dawn, its new day for Balenciaga. Its’ been 53 years since we have seen a couture show from the house of Balenciaga after Cristóbal Balenciaga closed his couture house. Now since Demna Gvasalia has taken over as creative director he has brought an amazing look to Balenciaga. His clothes aren’t just clothing, they talk and have a voice. Some of his collections almost protest in some aspects, this is what I admire about Demna, and have for so long. As this is Demna’s first time doing couture he was facing his biggest test of his career so far, and as we have seen he has done it with great success.
This collection will change the whole look for couture just like his ready to wear has for many years, and this is what Demna does best. He rebels against the classic and creates “a Demna classic”. He does what he wants not what the industry wants, and this I admire in him. Gvasalia has brought a revolutionary new look to 21st century people whilst keeping on the Balenciaga’s tradition of couture honouring one of the greatest couturiers, in the most beautiful way. The collection was recognisable Demna and Cristóbal in one, the collection was held in the original Balenciaga salon used by Cristóbal 53 years ago on 10 Avenue Georges V. The room was completely silent which gave a beautiful haze to the show. This was a moment for everyone to just shut up for a minute said Demna.
If you have followed Demna for a while you will know that he started his own label, VETEMENTS in 2014. His mission was to create clothes with a sincere, if generic, yet crucially coded with the sociological irony, which brought us to all love him and basically turned him into cult status overnight. This power he had with his designs are the reason why he is at the helm of Balenciaga.
Demna’s first couture show debut with rigorous tailoring, expansively extravagant gestures of taffeta and denim jeans, custom jeans of course, made on original American looms bought by Japanese manufactures and commissioned in the atelier in Paris. The collection still featured cult Demna classics like the aspirational aesthetics of the street and underground, but turned couture, and it’s a beautiful amalgamation. The collection not only featured hourglass black silhouettes, but tweed, sequins and feathers. Beautiful, amazing coats that we all thought where fur but upon closer inspection they were fathers, coats, jackets all in feathers with a classic Demna scooped collar. This collection really has it all, you can now have a couture lockdown look as seen in look 50, a very Demna classic. My highlights of the collection are the colour choices, well black, that is the only type of colour pallet. We do see some beautiful patterns with some colour blocking and just giant couture fountains of colour fabrics as seen in many looks in the ending of the collection. Also, in the collection were beautiful nods to Cristóbal in some silhouettes and fabrics as seen in looks 17 and 49. Some of my favourite pieces of this collection where the beautiful black hats worn throughout the show and silhouettes seen throughout the collection, Demna always does beautiful silhouettes. Highlight looks for me where 9, 39 and the finishing look 63, which in true couture fashion is a wedding dress.
This collection is full of Balenciaga Easter eggs and Demnaisms’ all wrapped in a beautiful new-age couture bow. This collection really is a new dawn for couture. The show is a perfect balance of old and new with a touch of rebelling. All and all another round of applause for Demna is needed.