Balenciaga FW20 Delivers Powerful Message on Climate Change

Presenting sculptural leathers and toe shoes at Paris Fashion Week.

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Balenciaga has taken to Paris Fashion Week for Fall/Winter 2020 with full force. The luxury label delivered commentary on climate change and a menacing, mostly-black assortment for the cold weather season, remixing house signatures and adventurous new items alike.

Creative director Demna Gvasalia‘s latest designs walked down a flooded runway while LED graphics on the ceiling mimicked rain, fire and thunder. The dramatic staging also left Balenciaga’s first three rows completely empty, meaning showgoers were detached from the presentation. This move aimed to highlight the menace of climate change.

Referencing the atmosphere were pieces such as full-length scuba uniforms complete with form-fitting footwear. However, this was contrasted with plenty of niche references, ranging from Balenciaga’s football-indebted Zen shoes playing into a full soccer-referencing look complete with socks, shorts and a top to bold motorcycle-ready leathers. Several models even strode the waterlogged runway wearing Vibram’s divisive Five Finger sneaker, better known as “toe shoes.”

Leather and black shades played a considerable part in Balenciaga’s FW20 collection, with trousers, massively-oversized outerwear, boots, sneakers and heels all executed in muted hides. Elsewhere, shoulders were exaggerated, several items were rendered androgynous — like the thigh-high boots for men — and rounding out its presentation was a number of standout sculptural pieces, such as the spiked rubber jacket.

Take a look at Balenciaga’s FW20 runway show at Paris Fashion Week in the gallery above, and expect a release of everything on show at its global boutiques and on Balenciaga’s website later this summer.

As Paris Fashion Week marches on, Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo FW20 has been canceled amidst Coronavirus fears.

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