Capitalist haven Wall Street provided the Stock Exchange-inspired backdrop for Balenciaga's Spring 2023 collection. The dollar signs were turned up as the bright city lights were turned on, hinting at Demna's playful nod towards modern-day capitalism, a thing the luxury fashion industry certainly knows a thing or two about.
However, the set itself wasn't the only aspect that pointed toward capitalism's tight strings; the house's promotional tools also alluded to the Big Apple (quite literally, as one digital 'Save the Date' invite included an image of a big red apple placed in the middle as Balenciaga graphics were delicately placed on top). Other promotional tools also referenced everyday objects (fake money included) before being turned into glorified fashion memorabilia before your very eyes - all thanks to a little certified 'Balenciaga' stamp - another witty take on fashion's capitalist values.
The collection itself offered a preview of the label's anticipated collaboration with adidas, available to buy now. It's a move that comes shortly after Gucci, another Kering-owned label, teamed up with the sportswear giant for their Exquisite Gucci collection back in February. Offering us a subtle lesson in fashion history, their most recent Cosmogonie collection also referenced Balenciaga couture through various silhouettes and styles. The brands joined together in a mutual 'hacking' exercise for the sell-out Aria collection last year, where the infamous Balenciaga knife boots were reimagined in the GG canvas and signature Gvasalia skin-tight drapery was plastered with the Gucci red and green bicolour stripe.
Although Balenciaga's turn at partnering with adidas isn't a replica of Gucci's adidas collection, both collaborations point towards fashion's ever-lasting obsession with sportswear. In a press release, Balenciaga commented that (the Balenciaga x adidas collection) 'recontextualizes elements of sportswear that have been a part of Balenciaga's creative language', implying a sharing of codes have always taken place where Balenciaga and adidas are concerned.
Whether you deem this collection as a pricey hoax, work-out worthy or something more, at the very least, the collection's witty ties to capitalism plant the collaboration firmly on its feet thanks to its obvious and overwhelmingly acute self-awareness - however eye-watering the prices may be, with a Hooded Blouson jacket setting you back a whopping £4,095.