Models go incognito; There is always something bigger right around the corner at Balenciaga’s fashion shows. Following the use of deep fake models at their resort 22 show, it is evident that Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia always has something up his sleeves. His trick this time was far from the heartfelt snowglobe tribute to Ukraine at their fall-winter show but is as phenomenal. Weirdly enough, it involves gimp masks.
Gvasalia chose the New York stock exchange trading floor as his show’s venue. This is not at all the brand’s usual scene, given that this is their first show outside Paris. Surprisingly, the location wasn’t the most untoward thing about the show. Models strutted down the makeshift runway covered in black full-body latex suits from head to toe. Save for slits created for eyes, nostrils, braids, and ponytails. Models were unrecognizable in the suits.
We cannot say the same for the crowd at the show as we spotted some celebrities who have been long-term supporters and stans of the brand. Including Ye, Pharrel Williams, Megan Thee Stallion, Offset, Frank Ocean, and New York’s very own mayor, Eric Adams.
The three-part show kicked off to the ringing of the Stock exchange bell as models strutted to ominous background music. Identities obscured by the gimp masks, they served as blank canvases for the clothes to hang off on.
Reminisce of the 80s fashion, the first part of the show featured oversized blazers, camel coats, pussy-bow blouses, trenchcoats, and a plisse dress. Complete with briefcases, reading glasses, and paper coffee cups, this was the perfect wardrobe for a corporate woman or man.
The second part of the show featured stunning evening wear. From silk trench dresses, short dinner gowns, and a sequin dress that was both beautiful and eerie. As always, the brand stuck to the darker end of the color spectrum with black and navy blue being dominant.
Ending our long wait, the final part of the show debuted the Balenciaga and Adidas collaboration. Sportswear meets street fashion in this collection as models walked the runway in hoodies, tracksuits, and sports bags. All in bright shades of the primary colors.
Each piece sported a mash-up of both brands’ logos; the trefoil and stripes of the Adidas brand and “Balenciaga” written underneath in the small font associated with the Adidas brand. The outfits were paired with black bulbous rubber shoes which had been featured throughout the collection. I can’t be the only one who thinks of Mickey Mouse when I see these shoes. This final part was the highlight of the whole show and pieces from the collection were available for sale afterward.
We see why the invites to this show were fat wads of $100 bills (even if they were fake), it was fitting for the luxurious brand.