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The pouring rain was like a supporting character at Balenciaga’s Spring 2025 show yesterday. To a high-intensity techno soundtrack by French composer, musician and Demna’s husband, Bfrnd, models cut through a horde of black umbrellas like Moses through the Red Sea, their clothes dyed dark from the downpour. Backdropped by the Ghost In The Shell futurism and neon-tinged high-rises of Shanghai’s Pudong New sector – which also inspired the exceedingly elongated, body-engulfing tailored silhouettes that opened the show – the show felt like a cyber-storied dreamscape come to life.

Stomping down the pavement alongside the Huangpu river and overlooking the Bund at Shanghai’s Museum of Art Pudong in gargantuan platform boots – that were perhaps better fitted for a mission to the moon – models sported logo T-shirts born from a collab with Alipay with shoe box clutches or bags quite literally made out of puffer or trench coats tucked under arms. Dark and grungy Under Armour sportswear pieces were worn with super saggy jeans and joggers. Sleeves extended well beyond wrists. Leather midi skirts and jackets were clean-cut and buttery. The svelte hourglass dresses had a certain power to them, while the liquid-like satin dresses and office-appropriate ensembles, sometimes worn with pantashoes, were great for day-to-day wear.

The closing procession took a different approach with Demna sending out a series of decedent ball gowns fit for the red carpet. These were made from glitter fringe, gold foil, or upcycled duffel bags. One jet black velvet number was bedecked with miscellaneous crystal earrings and necklaces. American artist and Balenciaga muse Eliza Douglas closed the show. Her archive-inspired feather plume covered dress was crafted from decades-old pink plastic bags hand-cut into strips and reassembled with the piercing of a wire. It was the kind of stuff edgy fashion fans covet.

Photography courtesy of Balenciaga.