For the love of couture, Demna’s Balenciaga Couture collection – the work of a master sculptor

Dear Shaded Viewers,

The much-anticipated couture collection by Demna for the House of Balenciaga took place today. It is far more difficult to create a sleek, smooth, pure line than it is to use gimmicks and over decorate. What Demna showed today for the 51st couture collection for the House of Balenciaga was perfectly moulded, modern day, armour. The pieces are part alien and part walking sculpture. They are sleek with nothing superfluous. The model’s faces were hidden behind shields that were made in collaboration with Mercedes-AMG Formula One.

Paying respect to the heritage of the house, Demna trades Japanese neoprene for Cristobal Balenciaga’s favourite material, gazar. Crunchy T-shirts hold their memory by using a layer of aluminium under their oversized volumes. Couture streetwear is made from upcycled denim parkas and jeans. The ‘it’ bag referenced a toolbox.

Age and gender merge together.  I’m still not sure who was wearing the bride at the end, they looked like they stepped out of a Velasquez painting in miles of Beauty and the Beast’s, the Cocteau version, fairy tale fabric. I admit I was holding my breath as the bride took a few steps forward then a little backward, unstable. I imagine that the volumes of fabric were causing the unsteadiness which in fact worked making me think of that silent-era German film, Nosferatu. The model made it through the doorways without any major disruption.

If fashion is meant to pass an emotion and to create a desire, all I can say is Well Done.




Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.