The project came together when Demna Gvasalia met digital artist Jon Rafman at Art Basel. Rafman was on hand to talk about the creation of the immersive experience. It had the audience so stunned that people were transfixed in their seats for a good few seconds after it ended, trying to process what they’d just seen.
Well, being in that tunnel, you couldn’t help but feel you were present. Dealing with focusing on the present, with all the roiling complexities, dissonances, and noise and distractions of the world around us provided the backdrop for the collection. This time, Gvasalia was intent on tackling what modern clothing might be and how it can rationally make sense to a new generation. The first looks out were a continuation and refinement of the 3-D molding technique Gvasalia introduced last season: a series of femme-fatale replicants in strong-shoulder, nipped-waist coats. Given the visual drama of the digital magma erupting all around, it could have strayed into a dystopian zone.
There was a smattering of logos to keep the Balenciaga market for that ticking over. But far more interesting was Gvasalia’s consideration of how to cut and drape a red dress out of a single four-meter piece of silk, and the way he came up with two-piece evening suits in the shape of a shirt and a sarong skirt. At this time there is a large part of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s legacy.
“Fashion shows are for transporting people, otherwise there’s no point. It was like working on a movie, getting people into another reality, so it stays as a memory.” Demna Gvasalia