Balenciaga Pays Tribute To Ukraine In Its Fall/Winter 2022 Show

Balenciaga RTW Fall 2022

Balenciaga is taking advantage of the fact that all eyes are on its long-awaited new collection at Paris Fashion Week to send a powerful message in response to the terrifying news of the war in Ukraine.

Demna, the Balenciaga designer who fled Georgia at the age of 12 during the country’s civil war, felt particularly affected by the situation and decided to put everything he has into denouncing the atrocities committed by Putin.

In a note given to the guests of the autumn-winter 2022 show, he had written “The war in Ukraine triggered the pain of a past trauma that I have carried with me since 1993, when the same thing happened to my native country and I became a refugee forever”.

Demna thus presented his show as “A dedication to fearlessness, to resistance, and to the victory of love and peace”, thereby giving a touch of hope during these hard times. The designer recited a poem in Ukrainian by the poet Oleksandr Oles while Ukrainian flags were draped over the guests’ seats.

During the show, models were seen wearing the Trash Pouch model, directly inspired by garbage bags in an artificial snowstorm with strong gusts of wind. This was a metaphor for the forced eviction from homes, the seizure of what can be carried in disposable bags and the refugees’ march into the unknown.

Committed to speaking out against the war in Ukraine from the beginning, Balenciaga had posted an image of the Ukrainian flag on its Instagram account the previous week, stating that all of the company’s channels would share details on how to contribute to relief causes. The post also announced that the company would provide directions to resources for obtaining verified information.

Speaking of the collection, long trains and puffy silhouettes were seen alongside classic staples like turtlenecks and oversized hoodies. The brand’s signature skin-tight bodysuits were also on display. Finally, a model was wrapped head-to-toe in yellow and black Balenciaga packing tape. Fun fact: the look was identical to that of Kim Kardashian, who attended the event as a guest.

Instead of a classic finale, where the models usually come out together for a final group walk, the show ended with an intense track called “Storm” by electronic music composer BFRND, which began when the last model left the set. The lights in the false sky above the stage flickered and flickered, supporting the drama of the artificial storm.

Demna, who had hesitated to cancel the show, revealed that in these dark times, “Fashion Week feels like a kind of absurdity” to him. However, he decided not to give in but instead to use his art wisely, forcing the viewer to question the atmosphere created to be uncomfortable, reflecting the world we live in right now.

See some pictures from the show below:


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