Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia threw the spotlight on the war in Ukraine, recalling his personal trauma as a refugee from Georgia at his winter show in Paris. Guests were greeted with Ukrainian flag T-shirts and a note explaining that the war had triggered the pain of trauma the designer had carried since 1993, when “the same thing happened in my home country and I became a forever refugee”. Paris Fashion Week 2022: Balmain’s call for peace and truth through fashion “We, as a brand, have to do something … we cannot take weapons and go fight there, but we can use our voices,” Gvasalia told Reuters in an interview after the Paris Fashion Week presentation. His show featured models marching through a blustery, glass-encased runway with swirling snow. How Dior showcased ‘beauty and protection’ at Paris Fashion Week It kicked off with a woman in a black cape-like dress, swinging a sac resembling a stuffed plastic garbage bag. Others followed, walking against the wind in wide-leg trousers, oversized hoodies and floral-printed outfits. An influential designer, Gvasalia played a central role in the rise of streetwear styles and is known for powerful runway presentations. Paris Fashion Week: Yves Saint Laurent’s sleek yet daring Eiffel Tower show The designer said he had spent two years in Ukraine after the war in Georgia, where he still has family, before settling in Germany. Georgia, a former republic in the Soviet Union, was plunged into civil war after the break up of the bloc in 1991. “When you go through war, you never forget that,” said the designer, whose native language is Russian. Earlier this week, the Kering-owned label erased all images from its Instagram feed, which counts 12.9 million followers, leaving only an image of the Ukrainian flag, explaining that the platform would be used solely for relaying information about the situation in Ukraine. The image has since been removed, but a link to donate to the World Food Programme remains in Balenciaga’s Instagram highlights section. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Balenciaga 🕊 (@balenciaga) Kering on Friday announced the suspension of operations in Russia, temporarily shutting its two stores there. Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .