Luxury labels have a reputation for being forward-thinking and stretching the limits of fashion, but Balenciaga's T-shirt shirt is really taking things to the next level. Fashion lovers know that a designer's job isn't just to create the season's denim jackets or summer dress, but to get creative and push the boundaries of what we think is beautiful. The best designers make us think about the clothes we wear and what they say about us, from Rei Kawakubo going Dada and creating a 2D collection to make us think about how we move through space, to Prada's militant-like 2018 collection that featured comics and prints done by only female manga artists' hands, which tipped its hat to this year's feminist undercurrents.
But sometimes high fashion isn't understood by all of its audience, and its intention and message flies over their heads. Especially when it's an extra experimental look. Enter the French fashion house's T-shirt shirt, which is essentially two shirts in one.
It's a striped short sleeve shirt with a long sleeve collared shirt pinned to it at the shoulders and droops over the front, making one look like they forgot to cut the plastic wire that holds their bundle buy together.
While a pretty avant garde design, the price point is what has people up in arms about it. If you want to make this experimental tee yours, it will set you back $1,290.
Luckily for you, though, you're essentially getting two outfits in one, since it has two wearing options. You can either wear the t-shirt and have the work shirt hang in the front, or wear the collared shirt and have the tee hang in the back. And a lot of people have opinions on it.
Some showed how easy it was to DIY at home.
Others just had downright hilarious musings about the tee hybrid.
But Demna Gvasalia, the creative director, loves all that riffing, though. Gvasalia makes these designs partly to become an internet meme, and partly to get a reaction from people and have them talking about the designs. This T-shirt tee is part of a larger collection that features jackets with extra collared shirt sleeves poking out from them like scarves, and puffer coats mashed up with denim jackets.
The designs are intentionally ironic, where he tries to reject the "aspirational" and elegant feel of a luxury label, and goes for something a little more ugly and weird. In fact, he has openly admitted to fashion critics, “it’s ugly, that’s why we like it."
For example, he was the mastermind behind the $2,145 IKEA inspired Balenciaga bag, which led to Twitter falling apart over it, and IKEA issuing a response ad back to help shoppers catch "knockoff" blue-bag dupes.
IKEA thought it was hilarious and wanted to flirt back, where an IKEA rep told Today, "We are deeply flattered that the Balenciaga tote bag resembles the IKEA iconic sustainable blue bag for 99 cents. Nothing beats the versatility of a great big blue bag!"
He also came up with the "plastic bin" shirt that clocks in around $755, and looks just like what a collared shirt made out of a garbage bag would look like. Coming in a highlighter green hue with "Balenciaga" stamped in gold in the back, it's made out of a shiny, water-repellent material that rustles and crinkles as you move. Think no one would ever buy it? It's sold out.
Whether people are wearing shirts on top of shirts or sporting garbage bag inspired tops, you have to admit designers like Balenciaga keep fashion interesting.