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eBay is a happy hunting ground for finding second-hand gems. Balenciaga knows this. Partnering with the digital marketplace for its AW24 show, most of the materials it used were upcycled. Even the invites were from eBay; the fash pack were sent basic shipping boxes containing random items found on the site. Demna was asking questions about the meaning of luxury.

Set within a psychotropic, multi-media space erected inside Les Invalides, every surface was a screen and journeyed through varying visuals, tracking a timeline from morning to night beginning with lush landscapes before transitioning to a concrete jungle and then an over-stimulating mishmash of imagery and finally, ceaseless static. Ensembles synced to what appeared on screens, and every single model wore futuristic face-shields or inconspicuous beanies pulled down over their eyes – perhaps to hide from the overwhelming blue-light?

The opening procession called back to the brand’s founder, Cristóbal Balenciaga, and his “hip-aulette” effect which entailed sewing shoulder pads into the hips of dresses. Demna did this with slinky long-sleeve gowns in leopard print, black velvet and sequin-swathed electric blue. There were eBay logo T-shirts, resin-aged faux-fur coats, puffer jackets with matching puffer skirts and slouchy, deconstructed tailoring – oversized of course. Balenciaga bags were reconfigured to form tops, skirts and dresses and garments were taped together as if unfinished. A duo of Vareuse tops, based on an original Cristóbal piece – La Vareuse – draped inverted trousers over the shoulders.

Calling the collection to a close, Demna proposed “one minute designs” – varying clothing items thrown together in a seemingly rushed fashion and sewn as a singular garment. Think hoodies conjoined to make a dress or an assemblage of slip skirts wrapping around the body like a second skin. The final gown was made of miscellaneous undergarments – probably from eBay. It was an upcycled nirvana.