Designer clothing and mud don’t typically go so well together, until Balenciaga decided to hold their Paris Fashion Week show in a mud pit.
Spectators were left puzzled after models walked through a muddy pit to display the spring/summer 2023 collection for the fashion house Balenciaga at Paris Fashion Week. Among the models who squelched their way through heavy mud to display the fashion brand’s SS23 collection were Kanye West, who opened the show on his modeling debut, and Bella Hadid.
Kanye West opening for Balenciaga walking through “Mud” in Paris 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/O9UjTeWR0X
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) October 2, 2022
Upon entering the show venue, guests were given a wallet containing credit cards, gym passes and personal IDs of unknown persons. The main theme of the event, however, was mud; models trampled through enormous puddles and pits while wearing leather outfits and swingy silk gowns that obviously got caked with mud. According to the show notes, the set was a metaphor for digging for truth and being down to earth.
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Because of the viral moments that inevitably happen, Balenciaga has become one of the most eagerly awaited shows of Paris Fashion Week. Demna, the creative director of Balenciaga and one of the world’s most influential names in fashion, has made it a habit to experiment with the meme-fication of fashion — using everything from latex at the New York Stock Exchange to leather garbage bags as a metaphor for refugees. Last season, the fashion house sent out invitations engraved on the back of a smashed up iPhone. They ditched traditional invites to make a statement on the permanence of digital artifacts.
Despite the experimentations with identity, a considerable number of viewers couldn’t really digest what they were seeing.
Balenciaga is a social experiment that has gone for way too long pic.twitter.com/bNkVIVQT3G
— kira 👾 (@kirawontmiss) October 2, 2022
Whatever the critics may say, the pairing of mud with high fashion is a fairly original way to convey the transient nature of high fashion. Perhaps it is a take on how luxury fashion is not as precious as we’d like to think and may be just as subject to corruption as regular clothing. Even in the show notes, Demna states that “Putting luxury fashion into the box of the polished, exclusive, and visually expensive is limited and pretty old school.”