What the past celebrity-driven events have shown is that, collectively, we're quite obsessed with the red carpet. And trust creative director Demna Gvasalia to turn the concept on its head by creating his own red carpet premiere event for Balenciaga's summer 2022 show.
After a now-iconic showing at the 2021 Met Gala—where Kim Kardashian arrived completely covered in black from head to toe, accompanied by Gvasalia in similar fashion—the fashion house conceptualised a show that made use of the red carpet. It served as the runway for the collection with models, friends of the house, and even its own team members modelling each look while being excessively photographed by the paps. Gvasalia closed the 'runway' with the same look that had him mistaken for Kanye West at the Met Gala.
While in the context of Paris Fashion Week, the red carpet was the main runway event. But for a red carpet to exist, there had to be a premiere of some sort. And that came in the form of a The Simpsons short. After the 'attendees' advanced from the red carpet and onto their seats in the theatre, The Simpsons | Balenciaga began playing—a storyline that involves Homer Simpson contacting Balenciaga for a favour in honour of Marge's birthday, leading to the fashion house inviting the residents of Springfield to model for its show in Paris.
The short is peppered with signature The Simpsons humour and is rife with stereotypes. But in all honesty (and knowing that it was done in collaboration with Balenciaga), it's all in good fun. In fact, the entire show was Gvasalia taking things lightly. Nothing was too serious, and perhaps a silly but effective concept all around.
Look and feel: The Balenciaga summer 2022 collection was almost done in entirely black—a perfect contrast against the floor-to-backdrop red. While it was fashioned as a red carpet, the collection wasn't completely a series of red carpet-ready looks; at least, not in the traditional sense anyway.
There were the usual oversized tailoring in varying proportions and permutations. But also the tracksuits that have become quite a signature of the house too. But what's not exactly apparent is the fact that there were traces of sustainable design in the form of upcycled denim as well as a new innovative material: a plant-based leather made from a mix of fibres derived from cactus and bio polymers. The show notes also state that '95.2 percent of plain and printed fabrics in the collection are certified sustainable'.
Favourite looks: I have an affinity for Balenciaga's oversized outerwear. And so, it's look 8's raw-edged coordinates that I'm gravitating towards, especially those crinkled tailored berms worn with tights. Look 38's panelled leather hoodie worn over a sheer mesh top and sweats are what I'd want to have on hand—it's a great black-on-black-on-black combination. And then there's that (once again) raw-edged tailoring as worn by Elliot Page in look 50 grounded by an edged-up collaborative Crocs footwear.
Favourite accessories: I've got to start with the collection's aforementioned Crocs collaboration. The partnership is set to continue for the season with the Hard Crocs—a platform footwear in the iconic shape but accented with metal adornments for a cyber goth aesthetic. It's really one of the better Crocs collaborations I've seen thus far.
The metal-looking slip-ons in look 21 was quite a stunner too. The futuristic silhouette looked completely seamless save for the marked folds for a multi-faceted design that somewhat formed its shape.