Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna Gvasalia, has gained quite a reputation for pushing boundaries and stirring up controversy. The reference to everyday absurdity he uses in his work never failed to evoke an almost Internet troll-level reaction in his viewers. However, with the recent Balenciaga Winter 23 Collection, Gvasalia dials down the drama and instead focuses on classic, enduring concepts.
For the Balenciaga Winter 23 Collection, Gvasalia infuses traditional designs with innovative elements. It features deconstructed and reconstructed tailoring from pants, placing inverted waists at hems, or recasting them as cuffs, creating a hybrid and fluid aesthetic. The same concept also applied to denim, leather, and outerwear cotton, to create a dynamic and cohesive collection.
Balenciaga Winter 23 Collection: Innovative Twists on Enduring Concepts
One of the standout features of the Winter 23 Collection is the inflatable forms sewn into the linings of the clothing. The zip-up hoodie, biker jacket, tracksuit, and puffer with an updated design that transforms the body’s dimensions with reference to extreme athletics. Asymmetrical silk georgette gowns with draping and gathers propose new volume. Floral print plissé dresses with animal print leather trenches and small-fit sweatsuits reconfigured to create a pronounced, rounded silhouette that accentuates the shoulders.
Eveningwear is another highlight of the collection, with floor-length gowns adorned with sequins, crystals, and beaded fringe. The gowns feature intricate knitting, lace embroidery, silicon drops, or velvet trimming, and a satin bow at the waist. These pieces and silhouettes inspired by Balenciaga Couture showcase the wild spectrum Demna’s reign has to offer.
The Winter 23 Collection also introduces new accessories, including the Huge Bag and an evolution of the Crush Bag, which now comes in soft leather. Inspired by motocross footwear, the Biker Boot features extreme sports details and a monochromatic colour scheme. In addition, the Anatomic Boot traces the foot’s curvature and toes, using tube knit or spandex materials to create a one-of-a-kind design.
Overall, the Balenciaga Winter 23 show is a visible departure from his previous collections. From the minimalist space to the enduring concepts, everything seems to strip down to the fundamentals. However, the collection demonstrates Gvasalia’s ability to integrate traditional design with innovative elements.