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Demna Delivers for Balenciaga's 51st Couture Collection

07 July 2022

After a fast paced Paris Fashion Week, Couture is here and Balenciaga really gave it. Yesterday, July 6th 2022, Balenciaga's maverick creative director Demna presented his second Couture collection since he's been at Balenciaga's helm, the 51st Couture show for the fashion house, situated in the historic salons located at 10 Avenue George V.

The collection draws on and further develops the Balenciaga legacy, injecting advanced technology coupled with traditional techniques. The fashion house engaged collaborators from a broad spectrum of skillsets; artisans and industrial design visionaries offered another layer of technical craftsmanship and technological innovation to the latest Couture expose.

Japanese limestone-based neoprene is worked into Balenciaga's Couture vocabulary, coupled with 3D-printed padding and wetsuit-inspired zip closures. The full looks were complemented with "face masks" in coated polyurethane engineered by Mercedes - AMG F1 Applied Science, "a division of Mercedes - Benz Grand Prix Ltd. dedicated to leveraging aerospace and motorsport tech," the show notes read. Their aerodynamism, anti-fog capability and breathability was developed over months of testing.

The music played from individual portable speakers disguised as handbags and traveled around the setting by the masked models. "The Speaker Bag is a functional purse as well as a portable state-of-the-art sound system that is milled from a block of solid aluminum before being pearl-blasted, anodized, and hand-polished over a several-day period," say the show notes.

With sustainability in mind, over a quarter of the collection was made with upcycled items. Many of these included vintage bombers, parkas, car coats and jeans – all deconstructed and reassembled; transforming the garments into completely new and reconstructed ones. Belts and wallets that were "methodically sourced" were turned into patchworks, while antique wristwatches were recontextualised as jewelry.

Celebrities and icons we know and love walked Balenciaga Couture. Nicole Kidman, Dua Lipa, Kim Kardashian, Bella Hadid and more graced the runway.

Coinciding with the 51st Balenciaga Couture show, the brand opened its doors for a Couture store, immediately downstairs to the show. Cédric Charbit, chief executive officer of Balenciaga, described the new retail format as a “gateway to Couture, which remains a very closed universe, especially for new generations. In this new store, products, made-to-measure services and retail excellence are a reinvention of the Balenciaga client experience. It is exciting to be able to present this level of craft, creativity and Made in France savoir-faire in our historical address.”

What could possibly be next?

Images courtesy of Balenciaga.

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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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