Balenciaga’s Towel Skirt: A Fashion Statement or Ludicrous Luxury?

Balenciaga pushes the boundaries of high-fashion with their latest creation, a towel skirt. But is it a stroke of genius or just another ridiculous item for the wealthy?

Fashion has always been a form of artistic expression, with designers constantly pushing the boundaries of what is considered stylish and innovative. Balenciaga, the Spanish fashion house known for its avant-garde designs, has once again made waves in the industry with their latest creation – a towel skirt. This unisex, terry cotton, beige skirt is literally a towel with a belt, buttons, and the Balenciaga logo embroidered on it. Priced at £695 and available for pre-order, this luxury item has sparked both curiosity and controversy. But is it a fashion statement or just another example of ludicrous luxury?

Balenciaga’s History of Subversion

Under the creative direction of Demna Gvasalia, Balenciaga has gained a reputation for subversion and a disregard for convention. In the past, the fashion house has released a £1,600 version of Ikea’s 40p blue Frakta plastic bag, as well as “fully destroyed” trainers for £1,290 and a calfskin “trash bag” for £1,350. Gvasalia’s previous work at Vetements also showcased his penchant for unconventional designs, such as a T-shirt emblazoned with the logo of the logistics company DHL. These provocative creations have garnered attention and divided opinions within the fashion industry.

The Appeal of Stunt Dressing

While Gvasalia may have once stated that elegance is not relevant, one has to wonder if the novelty of stunt dressing is wearing thin. Celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Jared Leto have made headlines with their outlandish outfits, but is there a limit to how far fashion can push the boundaries of taste and practicality? Even the idea of a towel as high fashion is not entirely new, as Prada and Ludovic de Saint Sernin explored the concept in 2020. Is Balenciaga’s towel skirt a stroke of genius or simply a rehash of previous ideas?

Repurposing and Sustainability

Some fashion experts argue that the towel skirt can be seen as a form of repurposing and a way to encourage consumers to be more mindful of their fashion choices. Stylist Becky Leeson suggests that the skirt can be layered over trousers or jeans, offering a new way to wear existing pieces in one’s wardrobe. With its practicality in wet weather, the towel skirt could serve a dual purpose. However, the question remains whether consumers are willing to pay a premium for an item that they can easily create themselves using a regular towel.

The Power of Iconic Bodies

Harri, the designer behind Sam Smith’s inflatable outfit at the Brit Awards, suggests that to truly embody a garment, an iconic body is needed to wear it. While the towel skirt may not be flattering on everyone, it could find its niche among those who appreciate the irony and audacity of high-fashion. Balenciaga’s ability to take mundane objects and place them in a fashion context has been a hallmark of their brand. The success of the towel skirt may ultimately depend on finding the right audience who can appreciate its unique appeal.

Grayson Perry’s Take on Balenciaga

Renowned artist Grayson Perry offers a candid perspective on the towel skirt, dismissing it as just another ridiculous item that rich people will buy. Perry believes that the appeal lies in its ludicrous nature, highlighting the allure of fashion that challenges societal norms. Perry’s own secret to standing out at a party is to be slightly less dignified than everyone else in the room, and it seems that the towel skirt fits perfectly into this ethos. But is it worth the exorbitant price tag?


Balenciaga’s towel skirt has certainly captured attention and sparked debate within the fashion industry. While some argue that it represents a form of artistic expression and repurposing, others view it as another example of luxury fashion gone too far. The success of the towel skirt ultimately depends on finding the right audience who can appreciate its audacity and novelty. As fashion continues to evolve and push boundaries, it remains to be seen whether the towel skirt will become a fleeting trend or a lasting statement in the world of high-fashion.






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