Demna Gvasalia’s latest collection for Balenciaga was fashion forward. Firstly, the collection itself was revolutionary. He developed a high-tech computer-enabled process for molding tailoring for women and men; Models were 3-D scanned, the “fittings” were done in a computer file, and then molds were printed out. Then traditional fabrics – tweeds, wool, velvet – were bonded to a lightweight foam.
Secondly, this was the first time women and men walked together in a unified Balenciaga show. Thirdly, the thinking behind this collection positions Gvasalia as a designer at the forefront of change in the fashion industry, and that goes for social change too. The show included World Food Program–branded merchandise that will be sold to benefit the United Nations charity which acts to relieve food poverty. A simultaneous donation of $250,000 was made by Balenciaga to the fund. “You see, I don’t want to be just a T-shirt-and-hoodie man. We sell them, of course—but I feel I have a responsibility to do it in a way which brings a message.” Ethics x Aesthetics. Sounds like a timely way forward.