Les Invalides, the architectural complex located in the seventh district of Paris, as well as being the setting chosen by the most popular and controversial fashion house of recent times, Balenciaga, to present its Winter 2024 collection, has been witness to the fact that Demna -current creative director- is a real professional in the industry, as he manages it as he pleases and achieves almost impossible things, such as how the extremely ugly can become something beautiful and cool for some.

The mixture of different prints and the garments of dubious appearance could be something related to what has been said, something that has seemed attractive to a few but has made others doubt, especially those who follow it because of the classic and elegant, barely-there style that in its day characterized the house created by the Spaniard Cristóbal Balenciaga. What would he think of it if he saw it? That is the eternal question that many people ask themselves when they see the Georgian’s proposals. But, in his defense, we would say that luckily there is still something left of the couturier, such as the updated maxi coats in synthetic fur, treated with resin to achieve an aged effect; the outer jackets lined with fur; or the tailoring, superfluous and deconstructed.

For some time, Balenciaga and Demna have been devastated by the controversy generated by the advertising campaign that everyone knows about and that we won’t go into here. It was deeply hurtful to them and they are very sorry about it. They felt bad, they apologized for it and they experienced heartbreaking feelings; feelings that have perhaps been represented in this line through garments that appear to be torn and are held together by duct tape. The tape seems to fix everything and makes the pieces come together to send an optimistic message along the lines of: here we are again. We’ve done it wrong, but even though we’re broken and under construction, we’ll get through it and do it right again.

With this supposedly optimistic message, it moves from clothes that look neglected to accessories and footwear that are perfectly produced, to the finest detail, demonstrating why the firm is one of the most revered in both fields. The first consists of single-mould injection-moulded acetate face shields with ear slits, already seen on their ambassador Kim Kardashian; different models of oversized handbags; and hats that draw attention to themselves by being pulled down over the eyes. In terms of footwear, there are the now iconic flat, super-lightweight derby shoes; structured monoblock wellies; and Louis XV trainers, with exaggerated bow appliqué on the front, fitting in with the whole selection of athleisure wear shown.

Balenciaga and Demna never leave anyone indifferent when it comes to presenting new work, and always receive both positive and negative criticism, but that’s what it’s all about, generating some kind of sensation. Otherwise, it’s dead.

Have a look at the Balenciaga Winter 2024 collection below: