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Balenciaga Summer 24

Carwyn Mcintyre

To the refrains of French actress Isabelle Huppert, who recited instructions for tailoring a jacket, Demna Gvasalia’s summer collection for Balenciaga could be described as his most tender and anecdotal to date.

In the collection, Gvasalia proposed a commitment to innovations in fabric and sourcing and took pause to reflect on what being at the helm of Kering’s fourth biggest brand may constitute for the future. His concerns around sustainability burgeoned with a biker jacket patched with overstock leather pieces and terry-towelling robes doubling as coats—one such robe style was made from a lower-impact leather alternative called LUNAFORM. Eveningwear continued the upcycling theme, with the finale look comprising seven dresses pieced together to create a single wedding dress.

For the accessories, stilettos and brogues were occasioned as clutch bags, with wallets taking on the appearance of passports. Oversized shopper totes were strung with charms and tchotchkes slung over the models’ arms.

Gvasalia’s mother, Ella, opened the show (he has often credited her for fostering his love of garments and fashion) wearing an upcycled car coat constructed with three repurposed vintage garments. The running order also featured long-time Balenciaga muse Eliza Douglas, his former fashion tutor Linda Loppa and fashion writers Diane Pernet and Cathy Horyn. The latter wore a navy oversized blazer, which gave the impression of two jackets sewn together with the shoulder collapsing in on itself.

This idea of ‘collapse’ recurred in many garments, continuing Gvasalia’s interest in the geometry of two-dimensional clothing. This idea was initially explored by Maison Martin Margiela and first premiered in the Spring 1998 collection. Gvasalia describes the apprenticeship at MMM as a sort of master’s programme after leaving his alma mater, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp.

By engaging (and showcasing) the people who have helped shape his fashion ascendency, Gvasalia has made a point of self-reflection, acknowledgment and personal resonance.

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SEE ISSUE #06 HERE. The theme for this issue, Revelations, delves into the unfiltered aspects of life. It’s an appreciation and exploration of raw beauty, where authenticity reigns supreme; the unconventional is not just accepted but celebrated. In a world of manufactured perfection, this issue chooses to validate our quirks and idiosyncrasies. After all, they are what make us inimitable.

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