Perhaps the most talked about aspect of Balenciaga’s Summer 2023 runway was the setting: the Parc des Exposition de Villepinte in Paris was turned into what appeared like a massive mud slide, courtesy of Spanish artist Santiago Sierra. Though it’s unsurprising from an individual like Demna (cue the snow storm and New York stock exchange set for his past shows), it’s exactly how he wanted to deliver his message: live by your own rules. “The set of this show is a metaphor for digging for truth and being down to earth,” shares the Georgian creative director.
The cast of models were treading through the muddy landscape wearing Demna’s anti-luxury pieces, including stuffed animal bags (that look a little worse for wear), distressed jeans and chunky sneakers – all blemished with mud.
Though it portrayed a grimmer, morbid energy, the show totalling 75 looks was not lacking in colour (a way for Demna to imply that optimism exists). Hoodies in neon yellow and pink; a floor-length pleated red dress; a fleece scarf that seems to be able to warp into any shape imaginable. He ends the show by sending Finnish model Minttu Vesala out in a dress made from black Balenciaga Lariat bags. Scroll on for a look at some of our picks from the collection.