The Balenciaga Fall 22 presentation comes in the form of a message from the past about what could have been and never was. It recalls a time when clothing that was alive with raw ideas—anti-fashion, deconstruction, and monochromatic minimalism— could be found anywhere from an industry spectacle to the active underground.
On The Lost Tape, a fashion show is characterized by the people and things that defined this late-90s era, filmed using a VHS camera by Harmony Korine.
The collection symbolically fills a gap from Balenciaga’s forgotten years. Raver and post-grunge silhouettes are pushed to their limits. Proportions are played with, creating new silhouettes and evolving others, including Balenciaga signatures like the Basque waist jacket and the track suit. Front-to-back pieces are studies of classic suiting and tweed dresses that question closure placement, reverse-engineering constructions to become tailored. Ultra-stretchy knits make these and shrunken twin sets easy to put on.
Balenciaga icons are reimagined for modern comfort: A bell-shaped parka is affixed with a detachable travel pillow at the neck. Conventional pieces are twisted to create a cross between a bathrobe and a trench coat. Vintage slip dresses are disassembled and pieced back together. Five-pocket jeans are cut up to create a three-piece silhouette that can be worn as a miniskirt, pants, or XL thigh-high boots. Fluid tailoring gives a deconstructed suit an unlined raglan sleeve, in the collection’s Belgian avant-goth tones. Relaxed, low-rise trousers and jeans show an underwear waistband above a double-B belt for an elongated look. A Couture-like bell-shaped puffer’s detachable bow can be used as a scarf. Wrap closures use DIY ways of fastening, like oversized safety pins. The show’s first look seals the body from the neck down with a gloved top and the first pair of five-pocket Pantaboots.
The Excavator is a cowboy boot-inspired thigh-high wader. The Kensington is a unisex square-toed ballerina flat, worn like a slipper. The Falkon Boot has a wide, pliable upper, giving its silhouette additional volume. The Lindsay Bag reinterprets a Balenciaga classic, inspired by a buckled 90s purse. The Waist Bag is belted and cinched around its middle. The Metro Bag, a front flap purse, is made with knitted cords of faux leather and a massive metal chain. The Emo Bag combines grommeted fetish straps, extra hardware, and super stone-washed leather.
A commitment to responsible production continues, represented this season with 89.6% certified sustainable plain and printed ready-to-wear fabrics as well as pieces of upcycled leather used in garments and accessories.
IMPORTANT NOTE: From now on, Demna uses only his first name, distinguishing an artist title from a birthname and therefore separating creative work from personal life. In all press going forward, he chooses to be referred to simply as Demna.