Balenciaga X Demna Gvasalia takes fans by storm (literally) with Ukraine tribute

Balenciaga Paris Fashion Week show (Image via @balenciaga/Instagram)
Balenciaga Paris Fashion Week show (Image via @balenciaga/Instagram)

Fashion house Balenciaga held its Fall Winter 2022-23 "360° Show" at Paris Fashion Week on March 6, 2022. The show was held at the Paris Le Bourget Exhibition Center and showcased support for victims during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Demna Gvasalia, Balenciaga's creative director, showcased the collection in the museum and addressed the ongoing conflict as the models walked inside a giant snow globe beneath an artificial snowstorm.

Stormy Balenciaga Fall Winter 2022 show captivates audience

Fans were awed by Balenciaga's show at Paris Fashion Week and felt it was both spectacular and powerful.

Fans were inspired by the bold steps taken by the fashion house. They were also impressed by the esthetics, theatrical presentation, and auspicious soundtrack of the show.

More about Balenciaga's "360° show" at Paris Fashion Week

The title for the show, "360°," was given to amplify the effect of a giant glass globe inside which the models showed off the Fall-Winter 2022 collection.

Before the show began, Demna recited an emotional poem in the Ukrainian dialect over the speakers. Backstage, he made a statement regarding the purpose of the poem, saying:

"It's a poem to Ukraine about being strong, about focusing on love, and that its sons will protect it. That's not a good translation, but the people I wanted to send this message to will understand it."

Demna welcomed all the guests by placing a T-shirt dyed yellow and blue on every seat. Recollecting a traumatizing incident from his childhood, he explained the significance of the shirt:

"The show needs no explanation. It is a dedication to fearlessness, to resistance, and to the victory of love and peace."

Demna and his family, who were originally from Abkhazia, in Georgia, fled their native country after separatists invaded their land and killed almost 5000 ethnic Georgians. The incident transpired when Demna was only ten years old and it left a deep impact on the beloved designer. He also explained his decision to move on with the show and not give in, saying:

"But then I realized that cancelling this show would mean giving in, surrendering to the evil that has already hurt me so much."

Earlier, we saw Balenciaga's invite for the show, which included broken iPhone 6s that led to some confusion among its recipients. Following the show, however, it was obviously themed on the blizzard-inspired presentation.

The show also included bold silhouettes over models, including reimagined variations of leather jackets, pants, bombers, denim, track jackets, and pullovers. Turtlenecks and hoodies were staples in this collection and ranged widely in size, from XXXL to shrunken down. The reworked bodysuits and hybrid stretch dresses were integrated with gloves, trains, leggings, or shoes.

Demna also relayed the message of the show to Vogue, saying:

"The message is love, always. And fashion has to assume that, at least in terms of taking a position on it... To me, fashion somehow doesn't matter right now."

Overall, the show presented authentic imagery from the heart. Demna brought forward his past traumas to provide an important context for the present and highlighted the striking contrast between the fashion world and its surroundings.

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Edited by Sandeep Banerjee
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