Balenciaga just won Paris Fashion Week SS22

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“When’s the show?” ”
“Wait, is this the show?” ”
“This is the show! “

Those were the whispers heard as we entered the cavernous hall of the Théâtre de Châtelet, location of last night’s Balenciaga SS22 show, and watching the live broadcast on the big screen of the red carpet procession outside. Calling it a “show,” however, is not entirely accurate – it certainly wasn’t in the traditional sense. Rather, it was a show that happily caressed one of the great existential questions of fashion: what is the meaning, the value and above all the interest of the parade?

Is this a worthwhile branding exercise? A working event for journalists and buyers? Or an excuse for famous friends of the house to meet again? Yesterday, Balenciaga proved that it all applies. Plus, they’ve proven to be fun.

As attendees walked into the stalls to take their seats, they quickly realized that they too were a part of it all, as they watched the usual coterie of celebrities, editors, influencers and all those who followed in their wake. Between them were models carrying the collection, a fact that only became clear once you recorded the captions that flashed at the bottom right of the big screen. By the time they entered the auditorium and were seated among the guests, they were almost indistinguishable from the models, critics and TikTokers were all stars of the same level.

Image courtesy of Balenciaga

As unconventional as it sounds, there are few houses that make as much sense as Balenciaga. Few houses, after all, have navigated celebrity culture so tactfully – the Cardi B campaign? Kim K and Rihanna’s Met Gala looks? These are all examples, and this was just a loaded extension of it, celebrating the cult of fame and ripping it to shreds at the same time.

A series of all-black opening looks have crossed the line between couture and grunge, goth and gabber and elegance – the monochrome palette of all of this will only enhance the attention to the figure, the shape and texture. They were followed by clothing rich in Demna-isms – logomania riffs, jagged denims, chunky platform boots, and boxy cuts.

What brought them to life was the way they mingled with the outfits worn by the show’s attendees, who paraded around the show not knowing they were on the catwalk too. He skillfully played with notions of exclusivity in fashion – supermodels cosplayed as celebrities, and Juergen Teller, Dev Hynes, Isabelle Huppert and Elliot Page all paraded. The audience’s most enthusiastic cheers came when members of the team from Demna’s workshop in Balenciaga appeared on screen, and guests who arrived late for the show didn’t realize they were all there. the two were the show and that they had missed half of it. Eventually, Demna himself appeared on the red carpet, wearing a face-obscuring shroud similar to the one he recently wore to accompany Kim Kardashian to the Met Gala, before heading into the auditorium to take a seat.

No doubt that’s when the main event started – and if what happened before kept everyone on the edge of their seats, then it blew them away. As the lights dimmed, a Simpsons x Balenciaga sketch appeared onscreen, without spoiling it for you, saw Springfield’s best taken to Paris to storm fashion week. It was almost too silly, and yet that was exactly what made him so great. He cut through the seriousness that so often obscures fashion with a sense of fun, seriousness and humor. He spoke of the self-confidence Balenciaga had in himself, closing a show about fame, fame and image with a parody of the ensemble.

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Image courtesy of Balenciaga

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Image courtesy of Balenciaga

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Image courtesy of Balenciaga

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Image courtesy of Balenciaga

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Image courtesy of Balenciaga

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Image courtesy of Balenciaga

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Image courtesy of Balenciaga

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Image courtesy of Balenciaga

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Image courtesy of Balenciaga

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Image courtesy of Balenciaga

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Image courtesy of Balenciaga


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