Words by Jamay Osborn
BALENCIAGA presents…... The Spring/Summer 2022 Collection. With the classic mixture of shows and presentations happening this fashion month people were screaming “we need something fun to happen”, so in true BALENCIAGA form, we got what we wanted in abundance. Balenciaga returned to Paris Fashion Week with an absurdist social commentary on celebrity-studded movie style premier events. Demna said “I’ve wanted to do a premiere concept where the guests would be the show for many seasons, it was nice to have a social occasion again. I hoped it would make people smile.”
The show was set in the Théâtre du Châtelet, where guests were seated at 8pm after walking a ‘fake red carpet’. Once seated everyone was in on the joke; guests were watching a live stream of red carpet arrivals on the big screen, the familiar Demna group of house models posing and lining up as a character of the celebrities, and then celebrities posing and lining up as models. Some celebrities included Cardi B and Offset, Dev Hynes, Naomi, Amber, Ella Emhoff! Mark Tuan, Elliot Page, and Isabelle Huppert.
Live TV camera feeds zoomed into the clothes, shoes, bags, and jewellery all whilst the sound of paparazzi blared. Handlers and security moved people on in a perfectly performed real-not-real control of lens-hoggers. Each look was portrayed as glamorous and amazing.
The collection was true Balenciaga, but in true cyclical fashion form we got to have our dream of the ever so loved “giant hardware” moto bag reimagined in the form of a new classic knife boot in neon green, white, pink, and black. It looks like Demna is starting to embrace the classic moto bag. In true red-carpet style, we got to see some jaw dropping glamour gowns made from meters and meters of ruched black lace, black silk, sleek sequins and silver lamé. Being Demna, we would not go without a good “BALENCIAGA sized” tracksuit. A look that stands out was look 61, an all-black lace shapewear dress with matching opera length glove and knife boot-pants. Another shoe stand out was the internet backing Balenciaga croc done in a Demonia inspired style.
But the absolute showstopper that made this show the winner of Paris Fashion Week was the Simpsons short movie that was created exclusively for the Balenciaga show. The short stars all the main cast of the show, spotlighting Marge and her desire for a Balenciaga look. Homer learns about this and goes online and purchases a neon green catsuit with Pierre Cardin inspired shoulder-pads and classic knife-boot-pants. An over-the-top security team delivers said gown and falls in love. The main comedic part of this short film is when Homer see the price of the garment. This leads to Marge gaining connection with Demna, and she and the cast feature in a runway show.
As in true Simpsons taste the viewer gets the honour of seeing fashion celebrities like Anna Wintour, Kim Kardashian, and Kanye West, and also one of Demna’s great friends and musician for all of the BALENCIAGA shows was seen in the show stopping knights armour boots. The short film ends in the whole cast of The Simpsons strutting down the runway in classic BALENCIAGA pieces.
The show closed with the now iconic full covered face hoodie look. This collection was a true EVENT in every sense of the word. We needed something fun to happen and we got it.