This season marked creative director Demna’s third couture show for the house, and saw the radical designer and fashion vanguard tap into key moments from the maison’s prolific history. The show returned to its Parisian birthplace at the iconic couture salon of 10 Avenue George V, boasting an expansion that merges the ateliers and office. The newly furbished salons feature contemporary design details such as smoked glass that breaks up the original raw stone walls, injecting modernity into the historied space.
There were references to house archives dating all the way back to the mid-60s, paying homage to founder Cristobal Balenciaga’s unparalleled vision and legacy. A midnight black dress adorned with velvet flowers and bedecked with an integrated pearl necklace—donned by Balenciaga’s former house model and muse Danielle Slavik during the show—was a reimagined take on an iconic look from the house, and highlighted this collection’s ethos of bridging the past and present.
Tailoring took a creative turn as well, with enlarged necklines that referenced hemlines on suit jackets. Several recognisable traits of Demna’s design language returned, from supersized shoulders to cinched waistlines. Mostly monochromatic or subdued in hue and patterns, it emphasised the hallmark silhouettes of Balenciaga that fashion fans around the world have come to appreciate.
Trompe l’oeil motifs filled the collection as well, however, in the form of hand-painted denim and faux fur instead of the archetypal digital print. Other unique textures—such as houndstooth and python—were also replicated and engraved on lapels and buttons. Hourglass dresses constructed entirely of Swiss guipure lace and a form-fitting slip number in woven brass chainmail followed suit, each more intricate than the last. The finale look proved the visual spectacle of the evening, a 3D-printed armour and galvanised resin chrome ballgown that evoked gasps and applause. It tied the collection together, illustraiting the influence technology has on modern dressmaking and humanity.
Celebrating the maison’s penchant for challenging the status quo while referencing staples of the past, Vogue Singapore spotlights several of the standout pieces from the collection. Styled and captured in the streets of Paris adjacent to the brand’s headquarters at 10 Avenue George V, the shoot explores the shapes and effortless elegance of the garments through the tranquil moments of everyday life. There is mystique and allure in the air, as well as a sense of nostalgia that is perhaps invoked from the history of the architecture and the myriad of dated references that pervade the collection.
Editor-in-chief Desmond Lim
Photography Luca Meneghel
Styling Konca Aykan
Hair Tomoko/Wise and Talented
Make-up Maëlys Jallali/Bryant Artists
Manicure Chloé Desmarchelier/Noob
Casting Nico/Ikki Casting
Photographer’s assistant Alliocha Wallon
Stylist’s assistant Agnes Solhall
Producer Anna Cervo
Production coordinator Alice Gilbert
Photo equipment RVZ
Model Seng Khan/Women Management