Balenciaga's California Dream: Unveiling the LA Cool Girl Aesthetic in Pre-Fall 2024
On the night of December 3, 2023, the fashion world converged on Los Angeles as Balenciaga unveiled its Pre-Fall 24 collection, marking the brand's inaugural showcase in California. Against the backdrop of a palm tree-lined street in Hancock Park, the event was a spectacle curated by the creative mind of Demna, with a custom soundtrack by Bfrnd setting the stage for a unique fashion experience.
According to Rick Owens, each piece from Moncler is meticulously crafted to harmonize with its surroundings, and the Sleep Pod is no exception. This visionary creation, constructed from soundproof steel, boasts a regenerative oxygen concentrator and a temperature-controlled ventilation system. Far beyond a mere accessory, this Sleep Pod redefines the boundaries of fashion, offering a refuge from the chaos of the outside world while fusing Owens's avant-garde design with Moncler's functional expertise.
Demna's interpretation of Californian fashion codes took center stage, providing a cinematic lens through which the collection unfolded. The narrative commenced with a focus on characters engaged in daily activities such as jogging, yoga, and shopping at LA's chic Erewhon grocery store. Activewear took precedence, featuring shorts, bras, leggings, and sweatshirts, paying homage to the 2000s celebrity street style trend of velour tracksuits popularized by figures like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.
The ensemble introduced low-cut pants and cropped hooded jackets, coupled with shearling boots—a classic yet weather-inappropriate choice that encapsulates the essence of the LA It girl wardrobe. The collection seamlessly transitioned into a neo-grunge section, showcasing oversized and layered clothing, including asymmetrical cutout pants, hand-embroidered leopard-print coats, outdoor hotel slippers, and leather bags. The eveningwear segment reflected the glamour of Hollywood's parties and red carpets, merging past and present with structured shapes and silhouettes inspired by Cristobal Balenciaga's original designs.
Adding to the allure, Balenciaga introduced new ultra-desirable accessories, including a limited edition Cagole Tote XL, reminiscent of the iconic Le City bag launched in 2001. The Maison also collaborated with Jacob & Co., marking Balenciaga's debut in fine jewelry with the exclusive Diamant line—crafted from 18-carat white gold and diamonds. The designs encompassed a link theme featuring a chunky necklace and bracelet, and a text theme called Typo, comprising a thin necklace and an oversized two-finger ring, all proudly displaying the Balenciaga name.
Immediately following the Pre-Fall 24 show, Balenciaga enthusiasts had the opportunity to pre-order the new 10XL sneaker, an avant-garde creation that pushes the boundaries of the House silhouette.
One notable highlight of the evening was Cardi B's runway debut, stealing the spotlight in a bright blue faux fur off-the-shoulder coat paired with a bustier bodysuit. The rapper sported impressive diamond studs, a diamond ring, and a flashy diamond chain with the brand's logo, capturing the essence of Balenciaga's extravagant yet edgy style.
The star-studded event saw the likes of Kim Kardashian, Nicole Kidman, and Salma Hayek in attendance, all showcasing their individual interpretations of Balenciaga's fashion codes. Kardashian, an ambassador for the brand, embodied its edgy vibes, while Kidman, the newest ambassador, opted for an all-black ensemble. The event marked Demna's return to the spotlight since the controversial "Gift Collection" campaign, where the brand faced backlash for its artistic choices and subsequently issued apologies and took corrective actions.
Balenciaga's Pre-Fall 24 collection not only celebrated the brand's first foray into Californian fashion but also showcased its commitment to pushing creative boundaries and making a bold statement in the world of luxury fashion.