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Balenciaga’s Mud Show: Kanye ‘Ye’ West Opens

Kanye ‘Ye’ West opened the runway in Parc des Expositions for Balenciaga’s Mud Show wearing an all-black military outfit that drew widespread attention

It’s safe to say that no one was expecting Demna Gvasalia to come up with the surprise appearance of Ye at Balenciaga’s Mud Show. But, it’s no secret that the Georgian fashion designer admires the Yeezy founder. Demna, the co-founder of Vetéments, was responsible for dressing Ye this time around, and his devotion to Balenciaga has inspired a big chunk of Demna’s work. He even pulled a Ye and renamed himself as only Demna, just like Kanye did with Ye.

Demna consistently comes up with challenging ideas about how people should dress and, in Balenciaga’s latest show, he attempts to redefine truth in fashion. And the truth is, that fashion is an art meant to be absorbed through the eyes. Demna stated in his press notes that he’d no longer explain his collections and verbalize his designs, but express a state of mind.  As a creative outlet, it shouldn’t need an explainer: the audience either likes it or they don’t.

Kanye West opens Balenciaga's mud show

© Balenciaga

The dirt-soiling Ye boots were supposedly a metaphor for digging the truth and having a down-to-earth state of mind, said Demna.“Let us let everyone be anyone and make love, not war,” stated Demna, possibly referencing West trying to make amends with the Kardashian-Jenner clan through his Instagram profile picture. He had changed it to the face of Kris Jenner, the family’s momager.

Ye’s appearance was met with surprise by audience members. He had shared a picture of himself while on the runway and captioned it, “WAR.” 

Balenciaga’s theme for their most recent show was an apocalyptic presentation, including a mud-filled runway where military-like jackets similar to Ye’s were displayed by other models. 

Demna eloquently stated in his show notes that he hates boxes, hates labels and hates being labeled and place in a box, but society and the Internet love doing that because it feels safe. “Fashion loves boxes and labels more than anything. Luxury, not luxury, street, couture, good, bad, buzz, viral, all of the same. Who cares.” 

The mud setting seeks to bring audiences back to their senses, and Demna’s words on the show seem to imply that the roots of fashion are visual appreciation and the conclusions made about it by the audience. Instead of attempting to label his works, the works are presented trudging through the muddy truth for audiences to applaud or dismiss.

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