July 19, 2024

Apparel Creations Workshop

Crafting Fashion Trends

Balenciaga’s Spring 2025 Show Revived Health Goth Tumblr Fashion

2 min read

It wouldn’t be a Demna-era Balenciaga show without a bit of silhouette play and meme-worthy takes on everyday garments. And the French label’s spring 2025 show in Shanghai, held on May 30, did not stray from that credo. The color black dominated. Baggy layers; hoodies styled over hats and under long coats; awkward-but-good robe jackets; and massive, teetering platforms made one wonder whether the health Goth aesthetic of mid 2010s Tumblr has returned.

The show was held outdoors at the Pudong Art Museum, which straddles the Huangpu River. It was nighttime, and pouring rain—but the audience was armed with black umbrellas, and the models marched intrepidly through the weather. Massive trench coats, hulking tote bags, and sweatsuit sets with platforms were all inspired by the shapes of the Shanghai skyline, which is filled with high-rise buildings. Juxtaposed against the ultra-casual everyday silhouettes turned extreme, some models carried shoe boxes (designed as real leather bags) or sported wire-thin glasses frames. One struggled along with his jeans purposely belted below his backside.

True to the Balenciaga ethos of the past few years, the collection was stacked with collaborations. There was a new Under Armour collab that debuted, and the brand partnered with Shanghainese restaurant, Nu Xiang Mu Dou—known for its xiao long bao (soup dumplings)—on customized dim sum and takeaway packaging. (The invite to the show was also a faux Balenciaga soup dumpling.) A limited-edition Alipay t-shirt was also in the mix.

But the most notable aspect of the show was the 2010s fashion aesthetic, which Demna put in full effect. Puffy jackets hung off shoulders as bags, while pleated dresses were paired with white socks and little skinny heeled sandal combinations. Long and baggy polos came with popped collars, as did fur coats. There were striped button-down shirts, and indie sleaze-era ripped tights.

The final eight looks of the collection took the look in a slightly different, less Goth-leisure direction. Here, we saw a series of gowns that were deconstructed into new hourglass shapes, a cocoon column-like dress made of travel bags and couture-like delicacies. Think: a fuchsia ruched off-the-shoulder dress styled with black opera gloves, or a crinkled gown with a trash bag-like look. A pink feathered creation floated down the runway against the darkness and the rain. Set against the more everyday pieces, these dresses were especially dreamy.

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