10-word show review: A beautiful tension between rigidity and a movement caught in time.
Location: Balenciaga, 10 Ave George V
The vision: One will never truly understand the austerity and rigour of a Balenciaga haute couture spectacle unless they are present at the show and boy was it an out-of-body experience to see Demna’s creations up close. An elegant nod to the work of Cristobal Balenciaga was reimagined on velvet dresses and trench coats as they were pulled open at the shoulders, almost like a funnel to accentuate an elongated neck. The Georgian designer’s signature exaggerated shoulders and elongated footwear provided a rigidity to the way the models moved, but it was also what made the presentation fascinating to watch.
As the models marched through the halls of the maison, the idea of pris de mouvement was apparent as seen on coats, scarves and stringy ribbons. Each detail looked as if it was caught by a gust of wind which gave the show a jolt of humour. But the real immersive experience came from not just the occasional gasp heard from across the room, but the sounds that came from the outfits themselves. Rattling of piattes and chainmail as they brushed against each model’s body added a sense of revelry to the affair.
The vibe: A Balenciaga show is never complete without what I call “a death drop moment” and that was when a model in a full metal ball gown fashioned to look like Joan of Arc at the Regency Ballroom closed the immaculate show, getting the internet into a frenzy just minutes later. There is also something quite marvellous and not to mention, enchanting, when a classical opera score opens a show and ‘Bellini: Norma/Act 1 Casta Diva‘—definitely added a touch of drama to the atmosphere. There was something to be said about each model’s walk as well. While some strode, others trawled, lending a fascination pace to the presentation.
The heirloom pieces worthy of a conversation with your asset manager: It has got to be the black open-shoulder coat (Look 2) which evoked so much charm and sensuality while the show stopper of a dress came from Look 49 with the wind swipe drape and Look 55 where the shimmery asymmetric number upon closer inspection was actually hanging on one shoulder like a sculptural drape which felt like a modern-day Chairopoleia at a glance.
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Look 2, Balenciaga haute couture fall/winter 2023
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Look 3, Balenciaga haute couture fall/winter 2023
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Look 10, Balenciaga haute couture fall/winter 2023
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Look 12, Balenciaga haute couture fall/winter 2023
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Look 38, Balenciaga haute couture fall/winter 2023
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Look 49, Balenciaga haute couture fall/winter 2023
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Look 50, Balenciaga haute couture fall/winter 2023
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Look 54, Balenciaga haute couture fall/winter 2023
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Look 55, Balenciaga haute couture fall/winter 2023
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Look 56, Balenciaga haute couture fall/winter 2023
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