It seems as though fashion brand Balenciaga were keen to cause a storm during their Paris Fashion Week runway, but not in the way you might think. The designer ‘splashed out’ on a pretty big PR stunt, and it was all for a good cause.
Audience members were a bit confused when they entered the Balenciaga show in Paris on Sunday, mainly as it was pitch black. Attendants showed people to their seats and gave everyone the strict instructions that the first three rows were not to be sat in. Odd for a fashion show, but the audience took their seats in the stadium-like set up and waited for the lights to come up. As soon as they did, they realized why the first three rows were out of bounds.
The seats at the front of the show and even the stage itself were all under water. Models stomped their way down the catwalk, splashing as they went. As the designer showcased their impressive Fall/Winter 2020 collection, the water leapt ever-closer to the audiences’ shoes and bags. Balenciaga knew they had created a show that no one was going to forget in a hurry, and not just for the clothes.
Many attendees and fashion critics said it felt like impending doom, with the heavy bass music, the darkness, and the water. Perhaps this was a little hat tip toward the impending doom of the climate crisis? It is certainly one way to get your message across. However, designer Demna Gvasalia admitted that this was not an apocalypse, this show was a “celebration of fashion.” However, the nods to “biblical” references, including the flooding, have not gone unnoticed by many.
We love it when designers pull something spectacular out of the bag for their shows, and Balenciaga did just that this year. Whether it was to raise a climate change message or just for PR, it’s made all of us stop and think.