Inside a lush red velvet curtained theatre, the sombre, rich strings of BFRND’s (Demna’s husband) “Fugue in D Minor” played out. Accompanied by the ambassador of the house, Isabelle Huppert, over the soundtrack the actress recited instructions about how to make a tailored jacket. Demna’s mother Ella opened the show in a two-tone jacket. This was a personal collection dedicated to the ones closest to him and a reflection of his world and community – and what fashion is. This was pure Demna-core.
A personal experience informed the collection – when holidaying with his husband this summer, a table sat next to him at a restaurant asked to be moved away from the pair because of the way they were dressed. And because Demna is Demna, he conducted an “anthropological experiment,” buying a a set of ‘normal’ clothes to become the “Demna the world would tolerate”. “I felt disgusting,” he said backstage after the show. “It confirmed to me the only way I want to be and the way I want my work to be is to be loyal to myself and not trying to be someone or something else. I will never fit in.” And so, steering away from the idea of luxury, because he “doesn’t care much about luxury, I don’t want to give people the proposition to look like they’re rich, successful or powerful,” he did what he does best, and made clothes “from down, up”.
The collection was weighted towards upcycled fabric. English wool jackets were made with a 2D effect creating a flat, straight shoulder without the shoulder pads; maxi A-line skirts came with clever interchangeable removable panels; big badass biker jackets were made from deadstock leather; super-structured shoulder padded jackets were frayed by hand. The Demna classics were there: orange-lined bomber jackets, fitted tracksuits, slouchy denim, and of course, the oversized Cargo sneakers (we recommend sizing down, when the time comes).
But there were also fun, theatrical moments in fluffy Y2K-esque baby pink heels and distressed Rodeo bags covered in chunky hot pink and electric blue bag charms. Tablecloth floral dresses were sourced from vintage shops around Europe and the United States, and evening gowns came ultra heavy and crystal encrusted (as seen on Amanda Lepore) or debutante-pink, or slinky and golden. The final look, worn by Demna’s husband, was a bouncing bridal gown, created from seven wedding dresses all pre-2000 that had been cut and tiered together. “Fashion should be fun,” he said backstage. Good vibrations at Balenciaga.