Balenciaga honored Ukraine as part of the Kering-owned brand’s Winter 2022 show, attendees of which included Kim Kardashian wearing a piece comprised of yellow caution tape.

Addressing the tape-constructed look modeled on the runway by Awar Odhiang and also seen on Kardashian, creative director Demna—a frequent Ye collaborator—proposed it was part of a larger “elevation of the mundane” approach of taking familiar items and recontextualizing them.

Kim K was later seen in behind-the-scenes footage showing the look’s compositional process.

In a letter shared alongside (and with attendees of) the show, Demna spoke of the “trauma I have carried in me since 1993,” pointing to the moment as when he became a “forever refugee.” Working on the show amid news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Demna added, was “incredibly hard” for this reason.

“The war in Ukraine has triggered the pain of a past trauma I have carried in me since 1993, when the same thing happened in my home country and I became a forever refugee. Forever, because that’s something that stays in you,” said Demna.

He added that “canceling this show would mean giving in, surrendering to the evil that has already hurt me so much for almost 30 years.” Demna was born in the nation of Georgia and last year received a medal of honor from President Salome Zurabishvili for “his contribution to the popularization of Georgia abroad.” CNN writes that his city, Sukhumi, “saw heavy fighting during the country’s civil war in the early 1990s.”

When closing the letter, Demna said the Winter 2022 show “needs no explanation” other than being designed as a dedication “to fearlessness, to resistance, and to the victory of love and peace.” 

The show featured fake snow and intense winds, with several models shown carrying trash bags. In a Business of Fashion interview detailing the process behind the show, Demna revealed that he had “at one point” considered a cancellation, telling the publication that he ultimately felt he had “already sacrificed so much to Putin in my life.”

Below, see a selection of runway shots from the Balenciaga 360° Show Winter 22 Collection presentation. For the full experience, including the recitation of a piece by the late Ukrainian writer Oleksandr Oles, watch an archived video of this weekend’s livestream event up top. 

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Image via Balenciaga
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Image via Balenciaga
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Image via Balenciaga
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Image via Balenciaga
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Image via Balenciaga
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Image via Balenciaga
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Image via Balenciaga