On Sunday, one half of the internet was busy gawking over each and every image from the Kardashian-Barker wedding in Italy—and the other half were hypnotised by Demna-ism, as the Creative Director of Balenciaga showcased his Spring/Summer 23 collection in New York. For his first-ever presentation in America, Demna chose the perfect location to depict the idea, ‘Money Is the Biggest Fetish In the World’—the New York Stock Exchange. As expected, A-listers from different walks of life assembled to watch Demna’s dark anthropological magic unfold. The front row was packed with power—from musicians and actors like Megan Thee Stallion and Alexa Demi to reality star Christine Quinn and the mayor of NYC.
In the eyes of fashion crowd, Demna can do no wrong—his recent track record attests to the same. Whether it was changing the red carpet game by putting one of the most well-known celebrities like Kim Kardashian in an incognito outfit for last year’s MET or orchestrating an actual fashion show within the iconic sitcom The Simpsons—nobody infuses pop culture with fashion better than Demna.
Ditching the picture perfect and pretty aesthetic in fashion, Balenciaga this season painted a real haunted picture of couture and capitalism. Even the invite to the show was sent printed on fake money. Capturing the fast-paced corporate life, the show began with head-to-toe latex covered models wearing all-black trench coats, pantsuits, jackets and oversized stomping boots. Instead of a swan-like strut, models were instructed to speed walk through the crowd, interpreting the metropolitan realities of life. Fashion took a front seat, as the model’s identities were concealed behind masks—leaving just enough space for them to see and breathe. Workwear but make it matrix (with a side of dominatrix).
Everything fashion is supposed to be, Demna’s Balenciaga defies it. On one hand, luxury brands are adamant about promoting logomania—but in none of the Balenciaga clothing will you see the name being fronted as an aspirational element. Even with an Adidas collaboration being a part of this line, Demna has managed to tactfully play with the sporty label’s stripe logo, without amplifying the Balenciaga font. Not one to be afraid to speak his mind, Demna has yet again used fashion as an instrument to show society the mirror. Whether it was his unsaid stance for Ukraine through his previous collection to his calculated dig at capitalism with this one—Demna’s Balenciaga is bold, but always with a purpose.