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Balenciaga Takes Fashion To Places It Has Never Gone Before

Balenciaga goes where fashion hasn’t dared go before

Image Source: New York Times

The fashion industry has behaved almost sorry about its existence during the previous week and a half of strife, apologizing for daring to promote a frivolous, unneeded product in the face of a worldwide economic crisis.

In a cold, dark airplane hangar on the outskirts of Paris, as reports of more than 1.5 million refugees fleeing through Europe from Ukraine began to circulate, Demna, the mononymous designer of Balenciaga, who fled Georgia as a 12-year-old during that country’s civil war, constructed an enormous snow globe and unleashed a blizzard of creative proportions.
With their heads down, men and women fought into the wind, gripping false garbage bags that seemed to be packed with possessions, sliding into spike-heeled boots, clutching enormous black jackets that blew out about them. A couple of others were shivering in boxer shorts with nothing but towellike scarves to keep them warm. The backs of long dresses were dripping with sweat. In the distance, lights (bombs? lightning?) flashed in the hazy sky, obscuring the view of the surrounding landscape.

In front of the glass, an audience gathered, clutching blue and yellow T-shirts the shades and almost the size of the Ukrainian flag that had been left on each seat, along with a note from the designer (who also read aloud at the start of the show, in Ukrainian, a classic poem — a prayer of strength for Ukraine — by writer Oleksandr Oles).

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