For Balenciaga, all roads lead to the money pit of the New York Stock Exchange – a crucible of power, greed and fortune – both good and bad. Demna took over the hallowed space on Sunday morning, with a cast of gimp masked models who stalked the trading floor in the brand’s signature sharp tailoring worn over their fetish gear. The brand has enjoyed huge success stateside helped along by superfans like Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian and Ye.
Backstage and also in a gimp mask, Demna spoke of the purpose of modern fashion: to trigger emotion in a terrifying world and provoke desire. “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,” he said.
He took a three-pronged approach to this. The show opened with pieces from his new “Garde-Robe” capsule which he described as “upscale, classic garments.” His extensive wardrobe of tailored cuts came in exaggerated ‘power’ proportions. Some were softened with oversized pussy-bow blouses but all had the big shoulders of eighties career girls and boys. These looks were inspired by his exquisitely crafted couture collection shown in January which focused on the idea of a complete Balenciaga wardrobe. Supersized boots (which Ye previewed as he walked into the show) and curious cushioned court shoes were a meme-tastic addition to the look.
The focused, functional and chic tailoring of the Garde-Robe wardrobe was followed by lithe, fully-sequinned evening gowns and silk trench coats with trains, that spoke to the nighttime economy. Then there followed a money maker of a different sort. A new collaboration with Adidas saw the sportswear giant’s familiar three stripes splashed on oversized hoodies, track pants, jeans and Balenciaga’s famous Triple S sneakers as well as a new iteration o the Trefoil logo, with Balenciaga’s lower case logo beneath. With many of the Adidas x Balenciaga pieces available see-now-buy-now, on Balenciaga’s website, this is money in the bank.