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Balenciaga Couture Fall 2023 Collection a Subtle Comeback for the Brand

Balenciaga turned it out in Paris for their couture show....

Balenciaga turned it out in Paris for their couture show. Creative director, Demna, has finally been able to showcase his skill at the craft rather than relying on gimmicks and celebrity cameos (though there were plenty). 

balenciaga haute couture 2023
All images credited to Balenciaga

The highlight was certainly the silver armour dress that gives us Joan of Arc going to war vibes. Granted, during model Eliza Douglas’ very slow walk it looked cumbersome and awkward, but this is couture, not athleisure. 

“Making clothes is my armour,” Demna told WWD. “I’ve suffered my whole life because of the way I dress, or what I tried to show through my work.” 

The dress that opened the show was a long-sleeved black velvet piece from the winter 1966 haute couture collection that was bought by Grace Kelly and worn at her 40th birthday in Monaco. 

For menswear, in the photographs it looks as if they’ve taken the shot with a wind machine, but the coats and scarves actually sit as if frozen in the wind. Achieving this required two full days of hand-sculpting and a knitted, bonded liner that reinforces the external fabric. 

Suiting was oversized and exaggerated, typical of the brand and true to form there was plenty of denim. 

Some pieces have input from fine artists not for design cues, but to apply oil paints with small brushes on flat pattern pieces that were later assembled. This motif has been spread across menswear and womenswear. 

Classic black velvet dresses, pearl necklaces, white satin gloves, all quite traditional, but that was until the coats came out with structured necklines and exaggerated off-the-shoulder detailing. 

The show was a comeback of sorts for the brand after a year of scandals and somewhat lacklustre releases. 

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