Balenciaga presented, last Saturday during Paris Fashion Week, a very uncommon show, which included a staged red carpet and a special episode of The Simpsons. Demna Gvasalia managed to shock his audience – and the whole fashion world – once again. This epic presentation proved the Spanish maison of Balenciaga to be boundaries breaking. Check this out!
One word can describe the show created by the irreverent and brilliant mind of Demna Gvasalia: unexpected. The Balenciaga Summer 2022 Ready-to-Wear collection was presented last Saturday, October 2nd, at the Théâtre du Châtelet, as part of the recently finished Paris Fashion Week. The fashion show was composed of two very unusual parts: a red carpet and a movie premier.
Now, picture the scene: the audience seated inside the show location, watching ongoing red carpet arrivals live streamed on a big-screen, waiting for the show to begin. Guests including Balenciaga’s friends, models and team members wearing the brand’s new collection appear in extravagant garments and pose for paparazzi pictures in the best Hollywood-style red carpet performance. As famous celebrities began to show up to the venue, people started to realize that the red carpet looks themselves turned out to be the actual collection’s presentation. Gvasalia’s intention was to create a “premier concept where the guests would be the show”. The main idea was to establish role reversals, where the audience ends up becoming the central protagonist and vice versa.
Following up the carpet blizz, an exclusive short film of The Simpsons in partnership with Balenciaga went screening inside the Châtelet theater. According to Demna, Balenciaga’s Creative Director, “we needed something fun to happen”, so the cartoon episode was envisioned as a way of pushing some boundaries between fashion and other forms of entertainment, showing the world that a fashion maison like Balenciaga cannot be easily labeled as belonging to one defined category. Demna added that he has “always loved The Simpsons, for its whole tongue-in-cheek nature and the slightly romantic-naive side to it”, which made him approach the show’s producer Matt Groening and his team, who promptly agreed to collaborate with Balenciaga.
In the short movie, Homer forgets his wife Marge’s birthday. Trying to make it up to her, he decides to reach out to Balenciaga and ask the brand to send her something from their collection as a gift. A gown is then sent to Marge by a Simpson version of Gvasalia, which makes her extremely happy. She wears the dress for half an hour before sending it back with a thank you note saying those were the best 30 minutes of her life. Touched by Marge’s letter, Gvasalia realizes she is just the type of person he tries to reach with his creations. With that in mind, the designer and his team head to Springfield to invite the Simpsons and their friends to model for Balenciaga’s next collection. The show ends up being a huge success, with the approval of a Simpsonized Anna Wintour, and Marge gets her moment of glory.
This Spring collection showcases Demna’s signature traits of streetwear combined with Balenciaga’s traditional tailored pieces, and shiny sequin evening wear, in silhouettes either extremely oversized or ultra-slim and tied to the body. The line embodies pieces such as gigantic gowns, oversized jeans, skinny bodysuits, track pants, boas, pleated dresses, evil shades, angular loafers, cyber-goth Hard Crocs platforms, trapezoid-shaped handbags with double-B logos, and crystal earrings.
Classic Balenciaga pieces were updated in this collection: the Space Shoe appears as an EVA alternative to the former derby, traditional soft calf loafers were transformed into slipper-like shoes ensuring comfort, the XX Bag was a reinterpretation of the Hourglass silhouette, the Triplet Bag reconfigured the classic chain purse, and the Cagole Boot was presented as the footwear version of the traditional studded bag made out of arena leather. Besides, the Spanish maison keeps its commitment to responsible production, using for this line, upcycled denim, plant-based leather made out of cactus derived fibers, and over 95% of the fabrics certified as sustainable ones.
Gvasalia definitely went the extra mile with this glorious 64 looks-collection presentation. He even appeared closing the red carpet, dressed in his Met Gala look, composed of a black hoodie, gloves, and face covering. Applause to him!
Published by HOLR Magazine.