Fashion / Fashion News

Information overload at Balenciaga FW24

Balenciaga FW24

You can tell a lot about a fashion presentation by its set. At Balenciaga Fall Winter 2024, a collection which Demna unveiled in Paris, guests gathered before peaceful bucolic scenes. Yet, as models began to make their exits, this swiftly devolved into a backdrop of many small rectangles, a simulation of the endless content and images our mind encounters daily, before fading into white noise.

The point was clear; Demna was representing our current reality, defined by violent digital excess.

What even is fashion, anyway? Demna mused. Especially, when style is easily replicated and trend cycles occur at neck-braking speeds. In the past, luxury was defined by its scarcity. However, in an age of oversaturation and the paradox of choice, the creative director countered that creativity is the true rarity. Like Cristóbal Balenciaga who famously cut himself off from the world in order to create, Demna has been rethinking his habits and environment, embarking on a detox of his own.

For this reason, the collection zooms in on the essence of Demna's own personal style. In an interview with WWD, Demna mentioned how this look has taken on a life of its own. He will see people on the street who look like they're wearing Balenciaga, but aren't, noting that he's birthed a genre of oversized proportions cut through with razor sharp accessories.

It was not irony that underpinned this collection, but good-natured humour. In this case, the clothes – be it a dust bag-turned-shirt or clothing tags elevated to accessory status – are the antidote, the result of Demna stepping back and taking stock of his own in-built compulsion to design.

The styling of eBay polo shirts with Sharpie drawn denim and slogan tees sporting Coca Cola script are a loving gesture to the Balenciaga wearer. They're a person who takes the everyday and turns it into something to be treasured, who will replicate the designs if they can't buy in. Someone who is resourceful with their style, who layers, styles, and adapts their surroundings to suit their own vision.

The final exit is a reference to an inside joke at the Balenciaga atelier, in which the designers will challenge each other to a Project Runway one-minute-to-make-a-dress brief. Bras are stitched together to form a gown. Earlier, a canvas backpack is deconstructed to make a dress, and at one point a maxi dress is made from the sort of t-shirts we'd wear to bed. It depicts a kind of creative energy that is ultimately human, handmade, a project thought up by fashion students and executed by experts. No algorithm or AI machine could conceive anything like it.

See the Balenciaga FW24 collection below

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