And what he’s saying right now is this, more or less: it’s time to be real. “I cannot be very optimistic right now,” Demna said backstage after the show. That sense was, uh, hard to miss: models, their faces marked with bruise-y makeup, wore dirt-caked sweat sets, waded through the mud with (fake) babies in carriers and go bags in hand, their soaked ballet flats suggesting a sense of only semi-preparedness. (Several clutched meme-ifed leather bags of Lay’s Chips—an official collaboration with PepsiCo, Balenciaga CEO Cedric Charbit confirmed backstage.)
Oversized suiting appeared in structural workwear fabrics paired with 3D printed clogs of cartoonish proportions, which forced the models not to walk but to trudge through the mud. “I think this show actually expresses that very much—the music, the set, it spoke about the moment in which we live,” Demna said.