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‘Be strong, and focus on love,’ was the message shared in the dedication.

A jarring Balenciaga show was set as a proverbial snowglobe, where models trekked through a simulated snow storm in couture. At first glance, the presentation looks quite dramatic, but the show was actually dedicated to Ukrainians who have been attacked by the Russian military, and are now grappling, as refugees, with a war-torn existence. The show was also a commentary on global warming. 

Guests arriving at the show were left with T-shirts on their chairs the color of the Ukrainian flag, with a note card from Demna, creative director. He shared that his family fled Georgia in the civil war in 1993. “And I became a forever refugee. Current headlines triggered the pain of that past trauma, making fashion week seem such an absurdity that I seriously considered calling the show off.”

“But then I realized that canceling this show would mean giving in, surrendering to the evil that has already hurt me so much for almost 30 years. I decided that I can no longer sacrifice parts of me to that senseless, heartless war of ego. I dedicate the display to fearlessness, to resistance, and to the victory of love and peace,” according to WWD. At the beginning of the show, a message was broadcast in Ukrainian, which shared to be strong, and focus on love. 

The models were intended to trek through difficult terrain, as a visual metaphor for the experience that Demna had in trekking through the Georgian mountains, fleeing the country. The models are carrying trash bags, which is also similar to Demna’s real life experiences as a refugee. 

Demna’s latest shows have all been a social and environmental commentary; creating potential scenarios that may be results of our current world’s actions. Demna shared that he went to the mountains at an elevation of higher than 3,000 ft in Germany, and he was shocked to find that there was no snow. He suggested that snow may be a phenomenon that we only experience in virtual reality. 

As a designer within the fashion industry, which has been strongly affected by the latest phenomenon of creating within the metaverse, part of the motivation for creating the huge terrarium was to impact upon viewers that certain experiences truly are more impactful and special in real life. He also developed a leather alternative, created from mycelium, a mushroom. 

To complete the show, one model walked in a full yellow outfit, then closing the show, a model walked in a full blue dress with a long billowing train; the colors of the Ukrainian flag.