Balenciaga | Spring 2025 Collection

Silhouettes of Shanghai

Written by

Emma Raff

Photographed by

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Styled by

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Amidst the distorted skyscrapers of the Pudong district, Balenciaga debuted its Spring 2025 Collection in Shanghai, the brand’s first show staged in China. The location was fitting, considering the nation houses more Balenciaga stores than any other country. Proceeding the show, the signature double-B symbol was spread throughout the city, culminated in a collaboration with renowned dim sum hotspot, Nu Xiang Mu Dou. The restaurant recreated their famous xiao long bao to incorporate Balenciaga’s staple gray coloring, the bun's juicy filling infused with French black truffle. Customized win-win cake, a Shanghainese specialty, symbolized good fortune and the joyous celebration to come.

Michelle Yeoh

The show itself was staged outside the Museum of Art Pudong at twilight, the models parading down the wet cement as a steady downpour spattered off clusters of black umbrellas. House ambassador Michelle Yeoh sat amongst the spectators in a shimmering silver gown. Actors Ayaka Miyoshi and Turbo Liu were also in attendance.

Ayaka Miyoshi
Turbo Liu

The city skyline and the misty ambiance created a visual scene that was dark, futuristic, and alien-like, effectively achieving creative director Demna’s desired atmosphere. The 2025 Spring collection was heavily inspired by Shanghai’s skyline, and Demna expressed his fascination with “super-elongated, vertical silhouettes” and proportion play. A pair of platform metalhead boots embodied the verticality of Pudong’s skyscrapers, and long black sweaters, shirts, and coats hung off of the models’ frames like shadows. 

Demna’s designs featured a resurgence of the 2010 goth aesthetic with black dominating the color scheme. Models teetered on giant platform boots, a couple of them wearing indie sleaze-esque tights underneath. There was a noticeable divergence between the first wave of looks, consisting of traditional garments such as a black pencil skirt, compared to the distorted silhouettes: jackets half on, and belts fastened around thighs. 

Balenciaga also debuted their collaboration with Under Armour with a series of looks that combined the sportswear brand’s practicable designs and light fabric with unusual shapes that are distinctly Balenciaga. A limited-edition T-shirt made in collaboration with Alipay will also be available in selected stores. 

The final wave of experimental looks strayed away from the dark palette and leaned more into Shanghai’s influence and Balenciaga’s archive: a shoe box clutch made from leather, a cocoon column-like dress pieced together from travel bags, a gown made of gold foil, and a garment constructed from Tyvek paper. The closing gown was built out of pink plastic bags, using strips and wires to create the illusion of a soft, feathered blanket.

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Balenciaga, Spring 2025 Collection, Shanghai, Demna, Under Armour, Nu Xiang Mu Dou, Alipay, Emma Raff