On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Demna Gvasalia showed off Balenciaga's commercial prowess with expanded luxe wardrobe offerings, in addition to playing to its streetwear base with a new Adidas collaboration.
For this season, Gvasalia seems to have turned his focus to power, greed, and souped up sportswear — you know, pretty much everything wrapped up in the American dream. Held in New York City’s historic Stock Exchange building, the show was backdropped by a dystopian set of screens flashing trading numbers and company icons. Eerie techno music pulsed as the models began walking out, swathed in a full body latex fetish suits (only their eyes and mouths were visible) and stark black clothing. There were some variations in this first section of the show (a bit of sharp ‘80s power suiting here, some slinky evening gowns there — even a long khaki double-breasted jacket to break up all the noir), but the overall mood was the same: ominous.
“We have to trigger emotion,” he said backstage, wearing a face-obscuring mask of his own. “We live in a terrifying world, and I think fashion is a reflection of that… I think it was quite urgent, a quite urgent show.” The invitation was a fat stack of fake 100s. It’s a mistake, though, to consider the collection or its presentation as a critique of capitalism. “The most important kind of challenge for any kind of creative is to make a product that is desirable, to create desire. That’s what fashion should do,” Demna said.