Balenciaga's latest show takes over Wall Street

Sunday, after a seventh consecutive week of a plummeting Dow, as the titans of industry and finance gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for...


Sunday, after a seventh consecutive week of a plummeting Dow, as the titans of industry and finance gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for a postponed World Economic Forumanother rally took place in front of the New York Stock Exchange.

There were screams. There was a rush. There were gathered police and barricades.

They weren’t there for the Occupy Wall Street redux, or any sort of protest in today’s markets. They were there for the Balenciaga Spring 2023 show, the brand’s first show to be held outside of Paris, which also happened to be the first show ever held on the floor of the beating heart symbolic of the creation and destruction of culture. American wealth.

Even the financial system, it seems, can be seduced by the promise of fashion. At least for the fair price.

Whatever the debate around Demna, the unnamed creative director of Balenciaga, is he a genius, a charlatan, the most influential designer of his generation? – there’s no denying that he has impeccable timing.

Or that at a time when so much seems reduced to the momentary and the micro, from everyday TikTok trends to clothing subcultures, he is the rare creator of giant ambition, ready to take big leaps into our shared reality: climate change, celebrity culture, war. And now the money.

Inside the blazing neon-lit chamber where company executives gather to ring the opening bell when their companies go public, guests such as Kanye West, Christine Quinn of ‘Selling Sunset’, Megan Thee Stallion and Mayor Eric Adams perched on stools that snaked through the clutter of broadcast booths. The first model stepped out in a full black latex catsuit, with pinholes for eyes and mouth, worn under a black double breasted woolen coat, padded pointed shoulders, a luxurious satin bow hanging down in the neck. Oh, and wire-rimmed glasses perched on the bridge of his nose.

While the statements talk about the fetishization of finance, its dangers and its appeal, not to mention the dangers and appeal of returning to the office, it doesn’t get much clearer than that.

In case you missed it, it happened time and time again. All the models wore bodysuits, faces obscured, some with tufts of hair sticking out from above: individuality stifled by the pursuit of gain, all slaves to work and fashion, to the blood pumped from the city. (Behind the scenes, Demna also wore the latex, though he said the bodysuit wasn’t going to be for sale.)

There were swaggering, tightly tailored power suits. And, stripped of style and cultural commentary, they really are that: the kind of clothing that inspires confidence from the outside in. There were “Working Girl” blouses that were upgraded to the executive suite with crocodile print leather skirts. , polka dot pleated dresses and sackback trench coats belted around the hips. Also, huge romper clown boots, pumps encased in what looked like small inflatable life rafts, and a briefcase-shaped “Money” bag that opened from the bottom.

It was like a tour through FiDi’s uniform shots filtered through a black mirror lens, so elegance mixed with absurdity in about equal measure.

Office attire is, according to a Balenciaga press release, actually the start of a new line called Garde-Robe involving “wardrobe essentials” that will be a kind of perennial offering between ready-to-wear -wearing and sewing.

Scattered down the middle are clean, form-fitting dresses, flowing satin pieces (including a stunning pair of evening pajamas and a satin trench coat with a train) and, finally, the brand’s latest collab: Balenciaga/Adidas, with three stripes on suit and sweatshirts, the trefoil atop a tiny “balenciaga” on T-shirts, and gorgeous, brightly colored bathrobe coats from Crayola.

Of course, it was always about profits – streetwear, and its related category, sportswear, is the latest market fetish for high fashion brands – albeit in a slightly less provocative and more predictable way than what had happened before. The collaboration does, after all, follow a similar Adidas joint venture with Gucci, and another with Prada.

Until then, there was (thankfully) not a single logo in sight, reflecting the fact that since joining the brand, Demna has created a design signature so clear it is recognizable without any additional initials. necessary. The fact that it doesn’t change much from season to season is part of the problem. Just ram shoulders, hips constructed with pinches and seam pleats – the ordinary transformed into something quite different.

The ability to make you look, then think again. Maybe we’ll go back to work and get dressed. Maybe we shouldn’t. Either way, we should at least consider the implications and the cost of it all. It’s priceless, really.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Balenciaga's latest show takes over Wall Street
Balenciaga's latest show takes over Wall Street
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