Balenciaga continues its revolution in fashion week, taking Paris by storm with a witty red-carpet cum catwalk reversal and special screening of a Simpsons episode by Matt Groening exclusively for the Maison.
Demna Gvasalia, creative director, has made huge strides since her starry Haute Couture debut in July. Fashion’s elite are open to his questions, comments, and challenges about how the industry presents and defines luxury.
The red carpet presentation was first: Gvasalia reversed the general procedure, in which buyers, journalists and front row guests arrive to attend a show. Instead of the usual format where buyers, reporters and front row guests are photographed arriving, Gvasalia changed the format with models and celebrities walking on a fake red carpet in Spring Summer 2022 before they enter the venue. The show notes stated that Gvasalia wanted to create a premierre concept in which the guests would host the show for many seasons.
The arrivals were livestreamed on-screen with faces numbered. The camera pan was used to show familiar faces such as Naomi Campbell, Cardi, Isabelle Huppert and Elliot Page. Juergen Teller, who is both a model and a photographer for the paparazzi, highlighted the ‘total recall’ of fashion and spectacle much to the delight of the guests at Paris’ Theatre du Chatelet. The camera zoomed on the accessories, shoes and clothes.
Gvasalia’s first look featured an oversize black gown with a chiffon puff, which set the tone for Gvasalia’s red carpet joke. The majority of looks were black from head to toe, which made the red backdrop stand out against the extravagant tailoring, bodysuits, and high-end streetwear. Gvasalia modeled his Kim Kardashian Met Ball look, bowing with his face covered in black hoodie and a veil.
Special screening of The Simpsons/Balenciaga
The red carpet double was the premiere of The Simpsons collaboration. This episode is a brilliant one in which Homer discovers Marge fantasizing about a Balenciaga dress in a magazine. Homer tries to order it for Marge’s birthday, but cannot afford it. The entire Simpson family is seen on the Paris runway, walking the Balenciaga show.
Fashiontainment is a new genre thanks to Balenciaga, and other brands that challenge the fashion show standard. The Simpsons is just one of a series of activations that blur the lines between fashion and entertainment, culture, and technology. This shifts Balenciaga from a clearly defined category.
Models and guests become part of an automated performance, where the premier event is the show. The red-carpet arrivals of guests are recorded, setting up a series role reversals such as in The Simpsons I Balenciaga, where the audience is the protagonists and vice versa. This was a brilliant move by a house that was once most famous for its shoes.
You can watch full Balenciaga SS22 show below and the related episode of The Simpsons at the brand’s official website.