Balenciaga Got Down and Dirty with Spring/Summer 2023 Collection

Balenciaga made mud fashion at their spring-summer 2023 show.

Demna’s Balenciaga is no stranger to implementing the elements into their runway. Their fall 2022 runway saw models walking in snow through high winds in a 360-degree circular venue.

So, for spring-summer 2023, it made sense for Balenciaga to follow this theme and have models walk through mud and puddles as they strut across the outdoor-inspired catwalk.

While walking, the mud splashed at models’ feet and stained the hems of their dresses and pants. Also, ruining the footwear they were wearing.

The scene of models walking through less than ideal environments appeared as if we were watching fashionable clubgoers leaving a rave after it had rained, only to run into formally dressed business people on their way to work in the morning.

Demna and Balenciaga say this runway was inspired by staying grounded and living in your truth. Which is supposedly why mud was central to the showcase, to ground the models and viewers into seeing fashion in and as the real world.

The show saw Kanye West open the runway in an all-black gorpy-inspired look consisting of a utility jacket, leather work pants, boots, and a baseball hat.

Following Kanye were multiple looks illustrating the oppositions of formal wear, gorpy work wear, and club wear, as we saw numerous utility-inspired designs, stunning gowns, mesh tops, corsets for men, perfectly baggy denim, and beautiful bags… all getting stained by the mud they were waking through.

One reoccurring feature of the collection was the creation of handbags out of everyday items. Such as a purse made of a Lay’s potato chip bag, purses made to look like shopping bags, and purses made from teddy bears.

That slightly camp feature of the runway was also echoed in other accessories, like the neon noodle scarves we saw on multiple models and the baby carriers we saw strapped on the chests of others.

We also saw numerous models styled in artificial body modifications and piercings, like Bella Hadid’s multiple artificial eyebrow piercings or the fake body-mod horns placed on other talents.

Other stand-out features included pointy-toed glittery clogs, shoulder bags with built-in sleeves, sunglasses that wrap around your head, cropped puffer jackets, and a dress made of cut-up Balenciaga purses that closed the show.

The entire collection was another execution of the visionary that is Demna’s Balenciaga and was another successful attempt at implementing harsh elements in high fashion runways. V are already anticipating what they do next.

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