Balenciaga Spring 2025 Weathers The Storm in Shanghai

Demna’s first show in China was met with a downpour, but the show must go on.
balenciaga spring 2025 with michelle yeoh

“The rain was a paid supporting actor.” A guest told me after the rain-soaked Balenciaga Spring 2025 runway show, unveiled at the Museum of Art Pudong in Shanghai. While the show was met with a heavy downpour, it felt very much on brand. After all, Creative Director Demna was known for his over-the-top theatrics. If anything, the rain only added another layer of atmosphere to a high-octane collection.

To a high-intensity soundtrack by BFRND, models cut through a legion of black umbrellas, shielding over front-row attendees like Michelle Yeoh. Backdropped by the futuristic views of the Shanghai skyline—which also inspired the exceedingly elongated, body-engulfing tailored silhouettes that opened the show— the collection was a bold proposition that is mega in many ways.

The first highlight of the show was Thai superstar PP Krit‘s runway debut in a pair of giant 18-cm platform metalhead boots that took the internet by storm. It was then followed by several models stomping down the runway with gargantuan (10X? 15X?) sneakers that are of a size of an infant.

Elsewhere, models carried Balenciaga sneaker box as clutches made from supple leather, others carried handbags that resembled a puffer jacket, a button-up shirt, a few parkas, a leather jacket and a full-sized trench coat. There were also some pieces from the Under Armour collab. So far, so Demna: extreme silhouettes, unconventional dichotomy and mind-fucked designs.

But the real standout for us was the last part of the collection: where a slew of Chinese supermodels paraded in Demna’s experimental couture and semi-couture dresses. A cocoon column-like dress that was made of pieced-together travel bags, a vinyl bell-shaped bow dress in table mat floral prints, a Tyvek bridal paper dress that was perhaps a tribute to China’s invention of paper, and the finale dress that was made of recycled pink plastic bags from over a decade old with strips cut by hand and pierced with a wire to create a feather effect.

The Balenciaga Shanghai-show felt like more than just a collection; it was a 4D experience, a thought-provoking commentary and a love letter from Demna to China.