With the Australian Bushfires that ravaged the continent earlier in the year and the seemingly constant stream of natural disasters occurring around the world (ie. Indonesian floods, Philippines’ Taal Volcano eruption, etc), the conversation on climate change has certainly been in the forefront of people’s minds. It seems ludicrous that politicians and large corporations are not doing more to further the efforts in preserving the Earth. Not known for subtlety, Creative Director of Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia delivered his message clear and strong this Fall/Winter 2020 with an immersive apocalyptic show in Paris.
In the pitch dark Balenciaga stadium, guests will find that the first two rows of seats were partially submerged in water, just like the runways—a reference to rising sea levels and the melting of polar ice caps. As the show began, the LED ceiling lit up to reveal the waterlogged runway and models splashed across the surface in Demna’s signature subversive and gender fluid creations. As the models walk, we see the moon completely eclipse the giant burning sun, engulfing the stage in darkness and the cycle continues again.
Balenciaga’s exaggerated silhouettes now feature upturned shoulder pads, furry jackets and pleated skirts. As the models walk down the runway, seemingly oblivious to the water onstage and doomsday visuals above, Demna seems to be commenting on how it’s still business as usual for most people, especially in the fashion industry. We are constantly in the vicious cycle of consumerism, despite the scale of environmental carnage happening around us. Touché, Demna, touché!