After the Scandal, Balenciaga Keeps Everything Simple in Paris

For a brand that made a lot of noise last autumn, the catwalk beneath the Louvre felt eerily quiet on Sunday morning. Before the show, Balenciaga’s artistic director Demna said, “There will be nothing but clothes to see here.” “I need to be the radical antidote—not in that conversation at all. That’s what Cristóbal Balenciaga would do.

Balenciaga of Demna

Cristóbal left Balenciaga in 1968 but Demna’s Balenciaga could not remain quiet forever. It’s still a business, and it’s the brand’s first collection since November’s controversial ad campaign, which saw sales drop dramatically, where children photographed holding teddy bears in bondage gear.

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Balenciaga Store – NYC, New York City

Today, the show was really about clothes. It began with tailored suits – except that the jackets were made from trousers, split open, and turned inside out so that the hem actually a waistband. A trenchcoat made from ripped chinos followed. Some were perfectly fine suits with retail viability, albeit for 1%. Demna started working on the collection before the scandal and says that very little has changed.

Tight tracksuit exaggerated, tennis-ball

Both Demna and Cristóbal Balenciaga inspired by the relationship between the body and what covered it, and with the silhouette. Leather jackets looked like jackets until you looked at them from behind, where they looked puffed up. Tight tracksuits came with exaggerated, tennis-ball-shaped shoulders. The flowery off-the-shoulder dress — similar to her 2017 collection — was worn with her signature “sock boots.” The shoulder pads were a reference to “what Cristóbal Balenciaga did in the 1960s,” he said.

The brand undoubtedly beautiful, harmless clothing medium

The collection ended with seven shimmering high-neck, floor-skimming gowns with the same blown-out shoulders. Some of the clothes were red carpet-pretty, assuming people would still wear the brand. Unsurprisingly, there were very few bags. True to their word, there was nothing else to see: There were no Kardashians in the front row, and no Hadids on the catwalk. There was no external branding in an effort to prevent protests. Anna Wintour was here, but the other faces were absent. No one knew what to expect, except that the brand would doubtless hope to cash in on itself through cute, inoffensive clothing. But even as we sat in silence beneath Paris’ most famous building, it was a wonder that Demna was still here.

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