One of my responsibilities as a fashion journalist and digital marketer is to watch runway shows more than once. The BALENCIAGA‘S SPRING SUMMER 2023 show blew my mind with street style and lifestyle choices to cater to a diverse market.
BALENCIAGA’S SPRING SUMMER 2023 RUNWAY REPORT
Looks for Spring 2023 began with a primarily dark and neutral palette before opening up to neon pinks, reds and sunny yellows. Across the 75 different ensembles, there is play with texture, including in the form of fuzzy, ankle-length squiggly scarves and wide belts drooped around hips.
Very interestingly, Balenciaga sent babies down the Spring 2023 runway. This isn’t the first time a designer has featured tiny humans as mini models, but rather than models holding the babies in their arms and showing their faces, these Balenciaga “babies” (they were dolls) flopped faceless in carriers strewn across models’ chests.
I was enthralled by the mud-rimmed clothes, witch-like shoes and darkness of Balenciaga’s Spring 2023 runway that reflects our current moment in time. Fusing fashion and the apocalypse, trends and wear are here for it. The collection speaks not only to personal identity and streetwear’s influence on style but also to our war period. A muddy moonscape. A wasteland, minefield or battleground. Ugly raw materials field far out from a wealthy city’s glamour. The feel of springtime streets in Eastern Europe, where Georgian creative director Demna was born.
FEATURED MUD, FAKE BABIES AND KANYE ‘YE’ WEST
Kanye “Ye” West stormed down the runway in a hefty leather “Security” jacket to open the show. It that surprising to see West at the Balenciaga show: strangely, his soon-to-be ex-wife is also the face of the brand. Taking inspiration from the enforcement uniform, which Demna has done before, the oversized garment came covered in pockets and holsters. As West stomped through the mud, synth sounds and heavy 808s created an aura of tension and danger. Are we ready for war on the streets?
According to the show notes, Spring 2023 is about stepping outside the boxes and labels imposed by society and the internet. Instead, it’s about courageously forming your own identity and appreciating the visual art of Fashion. “Individualism in fashion is downgraded to the pseudo trends dictated by a post in stories of some celebrity at the moment,” per Demna’s show notes.
BALENCIAGA’S SPRING SUMMER 2023
The show’s set was muddy and puddly, unavoidably staining the clothes and shoes showcased while giving some models a hard time walking. It even had a stench of decomposition, according to Vogue. “The set of this show is a metaphor for digging for the truth and being down to earth,” Demna said. “Let us let everyone be anyone and make love, not war.”
Models on the Spring 2023 runway looked like they’d been through a ringer: Bruised faces and bloodied noses worked in tandem with the desolate and muddy landscape. It’s almost certain that Georgia-born Demna’s show is influenced by the feeling of his home country, which he fled as a child and where many Russians are now fleeing to escape war and mobilization.
Let’s see who will buy into the revolutionary wears of Demna’s BALENCIAGA’S SPRING SUMMER 2023. All black, everything dark plus a little colour and fewer logos. Say less. My bet is on the clogs, so the streets are watching.
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