For good or bad, Balenciaga's return to fashion doesn't feel all that different.

Balenciaga returned to the public eye with its Winter 2023 collection presented on March 5 during Paris Fashion Week, its first time presenting a collection since its 2022 campaign scandal.

The fact the runway show took place inside Paris' iconic underground shopping mall Carrousel du Louvre —surrounded by hoards of confused and excited tourists— seemed to be an extension of Balenciaga's playful side, but the show itself was a subdued affair.

In Balenciaga's show notes, Demna took readers on a journey through his ongoing love affair with fashion, up to the last few months where he admitted a need to "seek shelter."

The creative director was rumored to not even be in attendance, at first.

However, though Demna didn't walk out at the end of the show, he was indeed backstage with the press.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

As Balenciaga show itself began (interestingly, it wasn't streamed live), the white-washed room collapsed into an eerie silence before models arrived clad in a playful mix of structured tailoring, floral dresses, and Balenciaga's typically alien sportswear, all of which was set to the tranquil notes of a piano that became more electronically warped as the show went on.

Classic Balenciaga motifs were present: high-necked sequin gowns, floral dresses, boxy leather jackets, big-shouldered blazers, enormous denim layers, and bug-eyed sunglasses.

This is as somber as Balenciaga gets.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

The Balenciaga's collection represents a divisive return that some fans are all too ready for. Others, not so much.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

Since the expansive social media backlash over its adidas collaboration and gifting campaign, Balenciaga has mostly kept quiet until now.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

At first, Balenciaga attempted damage control by issuing several apologies from its team, CEO, and creative director, Demna but the controversy continued to swell beyond its control.

The house eventually wiped its Instagram and stayed mum until it broke Instagram silence to promote the Balenciaga Garde-Robe collection, announce its National Children's Alliance partnership, and tease the Fall/Winter 2023 runway show.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Twitter post.

No surprise that Balenciaga is now hiring a VP of communications, particularly someone who can handle a crisis.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

For Winter '23, we expected Balenciaga to hit restart in a major way, which is basically what we got with all the reiterations of classic Balenciaga motifs.

Ahead of the show, Demna teased that the collection would be "simple," speaking to the codes instilled by house founder Cristobal Balenciaga.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

To us, that sounded like Demna's vision of Balenciaga Couture, which focuses more on archival Balenciaga silhouettes than provocative graphic interplay. Not far off.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

Either way, the show was unsurprisingly bereft of Balenciaga's contentious gimmicks, like mud catwalks, $1,000-plus trash bags, and completely destroyed sneakers.

Obviously, Balenciaga took its big return seriously.

We Recommend
  • Harry Styles wearing a see-through black top stands next to Alessandro Michele, former Gucci creative director, wearing a red shirt, at the 2022 Met Gala
    Will 2024 Be the Year of the Great Creative Director Shakeup?
    • Style
  • ROA sneakers
    Your Feet Will Thank You for These Winter-Ready Sneakers
    • Sneakers
  • balenciaga fall 2024
    Balenciaga Considers Itself Back. Is It?
    • Style
  • balenciaga erewhon collab 2023
    Next Up for Erewhon? A Balenciaga Collab
    • Culture
  • Balenciaga FW23 ski collection
    Balenciaga’s Spiked 3XL Ski Shoe Is For Snow-Loving Goths
    • Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety
What To Read Next
  • HOKA Elite Terrain System Clifton L Suede
    HOKA’s New Sneaker Isn’t Like Other HOKAs
    • Sneakers
  • Bella hadid Orebella
    Is Bella Hadid Launching a Beauty Brand?
    • Beauty
  • nike zoom vomero 5 design by japan
    No Notes, Nike's Japan-Designed Vomero Sneaker Is Stunning
    • Sneakers
  • spring fragrances
    A New Spring Fragrance Is the Ultimate Flex
    • Beauty
  • Models wear Hed Mayner's Spring/Summer 2024 collection
    Hed Mayner's Reebok Collabs Are Too Good to Last Forever
    • Style
  • City Girls' JT attends Diesel's Fall/Winter 2024 runway show in Milan
    City Girls' JT Did Diesel, McDonald's Wings & a Symphony With Solange
    • Style
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titel Media GmbH (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titel Media GmbH strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titel Media GmbH tests, remediates and maintains the Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.