Balenciaga Couture Fall 2024 Was Full of Classic Demna-isms


Balenciaga continued its annual tradition of showing haute couture inside the brand’s salon on Avenue George 10 in Paris today. Guests seated in the atelier before the presentation were treated to a meditative soundtrack encouraging them to relax—a stark juxtaposition to the assault of flashing imagery and raging techno from previous Balenciaga collections. During a couture season that’s been hotter than ever (and more crowded with the upcoming Olympics), the offering was a salve among us harried fashion folk.

The collection was littered with tropes and aesthetics that constitute tried-and-true Demna-isms. All kinds of oversize looks waltzed down the runway: there were massive t-shirts, robust sports jerseys, XL flannel button-downs undone and twisted, and sculptural denim jackets, all done with a couture angle. According to the show notes, Demna was looking at certain subcultures for a point of reference, such as “Streetwear, Goth, skater and metal head.”

balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga

At first glance, one could easily look at some of these pieces as just another couture garment reinterpreting Demna’s Balenciaga ready-to-wear signatures. But there were some metaphorical Easter eggs hidden throughout the fall 2024 haute couture collection. Take, for example, the final wedding dress designed as an ephemeral object: it was constructed from 47 meters of nylon (a reinterpretation of gazar, which would have been used during Cristóbal Balenciaga’s era). According to the brand, it took only 30 minutes to make and would only take 30 seconds to deconstruct. “Demna is interested in not only object intrigue itself, but also, the techniques used to elevate said object into an art form,” the show notes stated. Other unexpected materials consisted of upcycled plastic bags, aluminum foil, and faux-fur (using traditional fur techniques to create a dress in 7.5 weeks). Flocked velvet was used for a dress designed to look like a jewelry vitrine, and was styled with an archival Cristóbal Balenciaga necklace from 1960.

Never one to shy away from trends, the collection also touched on fashion’s recent obsession with human hair. Here, Balenciaga showed “a trompe l’oeil ‘fur’ couture coiffage coat” made out of synthetic hair, shaped and hand-dyed by the hairstylist Gary Gill. The piece took two-and-a-half months to make.

Balenciaga’s couture collections have become refreshing constants during a week where conventionally beautiful dresses and hyper-embellished gowns take center stage. Some of Demna’s models wore headpieces that looked like T-shirts draped over pillows, while others wore more traditional feathered couture hats. There were hand-draped and frozen-in-resin T-shirts made in collaboration with the artist Ni Hao, and carbon fiber bodies created with artist Alastair Gibson. Visually striking butterfly headpieces with hand-embroidery inspired by the artist Yumi Okita stunned. There is certainly no other designer in the haute couture space playing with such extremes between casual and formal.

balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga
balenciaga 53rd couture look
Courtesy of Balenciaga



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