Paris Fashion Week, in the Balenciaga F / W 2022-23 fashion show, the drama of war, the set and the colors as a sign of solidarity with Ukraine, the maison has cleared the posts of the Instagram wall to give space to the only image, the yellow and blue flag inviting support for humanitarian corridors.
In the story with a letter signed by the creative director : “The war in Ukraine brought back the trauma that I have been carrying with me since 1993, when the same thing happened in my land and I became a refugee forever. Forever, because it is a condition that does not abandon you. Fear, despair, the knowledge that no one wants you. But I also realized what really matters in life: life itself and human compassion, ”writes Demna, which explains how difficult it has been for him, during the last few days, to work on the show. “In moments like this, fashion loses its relevance and the right to exist. Fashion Week sounds like nonsense. So I thought about canceling the show that my team and I had been working hard for. Then I realized that canceling it would mean surrendering to the evil that has plagued me for almost thirty years. I have decided not to sacrifice a part of myself because of this senseless and heartless war of ego ”.
The parade under the snow
And so the show started. Opened by a voiceover in Ukrainian. Set up in a context that speaks for itself: inside the ice palace, with the wind and snow being blown against the models trudging with their feet in the ice. The bags are bulky garbage bags, filled and with the thread to close the top used as a handle. They inevitably lead back to the moments when displaced people quickly collect a few belongings before leaving their homes.
A solemn motif, on the piano, accompanies the steps of those who trudge through the storm: with cuissardes and heels trampling the snow, clothes and hair shaken by the gusts. Black reigns supreme, interrupted only by a few touches of white and blue garbage bags that alternate with black ones. The stylistic codes are the iconic ones of Balenciaga under Demna: there are the floral motifs of the first collections, the black dresses, the leggings, the trench coats and the faux fur overs and the maxi duvets. There is no showmanship, except in the wide-leg boots: the focus is an essential concentrate of the contemporary DNA of the maison.
Then the soundrtack suddenly changes. It is a techno song that evolves into thumping techno-rave sounds to the rhythm of a “Ra-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta” scream accompanied by bursts of light that look like distant explosions of bombs. The latest outfit is a light blue dress with a long tail that flutters like a flag. The ending is in total darkness. You can hear only the roar of applause and the foreign voice that goes back to repeat: “I am Ukrainian”.
“This show needs no explanation. It is a dedication to courage, resistance and the victory of love and peace ”, concludes the letter.
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