Demna positioned this show as something of a sequel to last season, when the models battled through a blizzard; the snow has melted, and what’s left is the ugly aftermath. The designer said that if the show felt pessimistic and dark, it’s because it is, because he cannot muster optimism about the state of the world right now:

 Rising inequality, the return of fascism, the very real threat of nuclear war. He laid it all out at his post-apocalyptic show today, trying, I think, to shake us awake. […] The raw odeur of decomposition, a custom-made scent by Demna’s frequent collaborator Sissel Tolaas, blasted us in the face.

The show had BESPOKE PUNGENCE. That is a lot.

Intriguingly in retrospect, this took place before Ye’s nauseating Yeezy display in Paris. How curious now, knowing what we know, to see Ye (not pictured above, though he does kick off the slideshow) opening a Balenciaga presentation that was rooted in dismay and disquiet about the rise of values exactly like the ones paraded around by Ye on his own “White Lives Matter” runway. I would wonder if he ever interrogated that within himself, but I think we know the answer. (For a quick primer on the Yeezy show, click here; for a longer analysis, this Esquire piece is brimming with hurt. And I thought the final chunk of this Vogue piece eloquently rebutted the bad-faith interpretations of “Black Lives Matter” that lead to shit like “White Lives Matter.” Ye, bye.)

ANYWAY. Back to Balenciaga. If you want to crawl into a messy, dark headspace, have I got the images for you.

[Photos: Spotlight]