Balenciaga Fall 2023 Couture Collection
Fall 2023 Couture Collection by Balenciaga
“Making clothes is my armour.” At the conclusion of the haute couture presentation put on by Balenciaga, Demna was struck by how Eliza Douglas’s appearance, in which she wore a chrome-laminated, 3D printed bell-skirted suit of armour, brought to mind Joan of Arc as well as herself. He made the observation that if she had been dressed like that, perhaps she would not have been executed by burning at the stake for dressing in men’s clothing. “Because my entire life has been spent in pain as a result of what I wear.”
In the brief post-show debriefing that Demna gave to the press, he speed-extemporised these sentiments, and he was in no way in a gloomy mood at all. Whatever implications to entrapment, self-protection, or resiliency might have been detected fleetingly in that talk, his major point was that being absorbed in the process of manufacturing garments is where he feels the most content and at peace. “When I think of couture, I think of garments in particular. There was a story that, for some reason or another, just developed on its own. It was like building a bridge between the past and the present, which is exactly why I wanted to do it right from the start.
Now, let’s go all the way back to the beginning of that “bridge.” The show was introduced by Demna wearing a reproduction of a Cristóbal Balenciaga high couture garment made of black velvet. It was first modelled by the breathtakingly lovely Danielle Slavik for Balenciaga himself, and she was the one who wore it in public. Grace Kelly placed the order for the dress, which came with a pearl necklace already attached to it, for her 40th birthday. Slavik had said to Demna that the particular outfit was her all-time favourite.
It was his personal interest with tailoring that served as the impetus for him to move back and forth between innovation and tradition. To get things rolling, he investigated how tailoring for the day was organised. He rose to the top of the fashion world by making jacket shoulders enormous, and then he cut large channelled necklines into tiny women’s coats and jackets. He is credited with creating the oversized shoulder trend. He explained that the inspiration for the idea came from inverting the positions of the coats. It was as if he had taken the suiting inversions that he’d started doing with ready-to-wear and elevated them to the level of couture. In another sense, it was undoubtedly a reference to the founder’s trademark preoccupation with shaping garments to highlight the attractiveness of his customers’ features.
A significant portion of the collection was dedicated to clothing for men. It began with the most strict black-tie formality and progressed through what appeared to be conventional work suits, all the way up to couture treatments of all of the casual generics that Demna has been renowned for from the very beginning. It is important to keep in mind that haute couture traditionally did not include menswear in any way.
It seemed to be quite similar to Demna’s characteristic ready-to-wear in terms of silhouette, even down to the extended-toe shoes that were peeking out from below his slacks and denim. In point of fact, he stated that a host of concealed trompe l’oeil handcrafted skills had been lavished on oil painting fabric to simulate fur, printing Japanese denim to copy Prince of Wales check, and sculpting ‘windswept’ raincoats and mufflers to seem as if they were caught in a storm. In addition, he stated that these techniques had been lavished on oil painting fabric to imitate fur. “Because I like the couture that you see, and I like the couture that you don’t see,” he explained. “Because I like couture.” “The strategies that perhaps aren’t as obvious are the ones that are of the utmost importance. That’s a significant element of who I am, and it was also a significant part of Cristóbal Balenciaga. Therefore, I aimed towards that equilibrium. It’s not appropriate for couture to always be shouting things like “this is a gorgeous dress” at the viewer.
But in addition to that, there were stunning outfits. Isabelle Huppert made her entrance looking like a gothic Infanta in a black dress with elaborate paillettes and a long skirt. There were others that, once again, appeared to have been frozen in motion. One of them featured a taffeta neckline that had been severely blown to one side, while another featured a smooth black twist that swirled around the torso.
A portion of it had been crafted by the collaboration of highly developed technology and the manual labour of humans. A garment made of crimson lace was transformed into a bell-shaped filigree. Of course, it was the warrior clad in gleaming silver armour. Of course, all of this costs the same amount as anything that is typically considered to be “haute couture,” all while garnering an incredible amount of exposure. Which is obviously extremely Demna on her end as well.