Fashion

Balenciaga's FW/22 Haute Couture Collection Was A Showcase Of Stellar Casting

Demna brought all the dolls out to play.

By Ava Gilchrist
Balenciaga unveiled their 51st haute couture collection in the maison's newly opened couture salon in a star studded affair that paid tribute to the brand's stalwart legacy and bright future.
It was fashion's fantasy league—a showcase of stellar casting that combined the fiercest faces across entertainment and culture.
Demna's muse, Kim Kardashian, made her triumphant runway debut, an unexpected endeavour for the 41-year-old reality star and entrepreneur.
However, it must be said she obviously asked veteran supermodel Naomi Campbell backstage for a few pointers, nailing the sullen and morose pout of a model in her first try.
Kim Kardashian for Balenciaga FW/22 Haute Couture.
Pop sensation Dua Lipa, who has cemented herself as a steadfast supporter of Donatella Versace, made a surprise appearance, donning an crepe-esque asymmetrical canary-yellow creation that was an homage to Cristobel Balenciaga's original haute couture silhouettes.
Dua Lipa for Balenciaga FW/22 Haute Couture.
Her former BFF, Bella Hadid, made it to the show "through the skin of her teeth"—one replacement passport and four way call with the foreign immigration office and she was on her way—donning a satin gown that was a direct reference to a voluminous look from the maison's 1950's collections.
However, Demna's (and by extension Balenciaga's) strength lies in the unexpected, the unlikely synergy between made-to-measure high fashion and the star power that only he can pull. Case in point? Nicole Kidman and Christine Quinn's runway debuts.
Nicole Kidman for Balenciaga FW/22 Haute Couture.
Sitting either side of the Hollywood spectrum (one's an Oscar winner, one is a reality star who sells real estate to the upper echelon), you'd think this unlikely combination would be out of place for a haute couture collection. As Demna's proved, everyone has a seat at Balencaiga's table.
Christine Quinn for Balenciaga FW/22 Haute Couture.
There's no wonder why Balenciaga is the hottest fashion brand in the world right now. With one fell swoop, they've managed to undermine every show from fall haute couture fashion week (sorry Olivier Rousteing and Jean Paul Gaultier), even topping their hyper viral 50th collection presentation.
The collection's pièce de résistance was the masterful trompe l'oeil collection that plays into Demna's fascination with kink and anonymity.
Neoprene gave a way to a new frontier for nude illusion design, and elsewhere gowns that appeared to comprise of tweed and feathered materials was actually silk embroidery.
Some pieces may have felt trite to some—a all denim ensemble may have called Diesel's most recent collection to mind, or the hoodies a reference to Demna's time at Vetements, however for us the subverting of every notion of what haute couture should be was a genius move.

The dramatic triumph of Demna's epic finale, his obscured mariée naturally, was overshadowed by her awkward movements (or lack thereof). The model was unable to seamlessly walk down the runway of the white carpeted couture showroom due to the voluminous skirt that put any puffy Aje dress to shame.
Front row guests enjoyed a 4D experience as the models' hemlines skimmed their Cagole boots—she couldn't move, but did she need to?
Balencaiga's closing look of the FW/22 Haute Couture collection.
With this being Demna's second foray as a grand couturier, this second endeavour was an evolution of everything we love about the brand—rich historical references, unconventional casting and viral designs that have instant covetable status.
Fashion, it's time to meet your new l'enfant terrible.
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  • undefined: Ava Gilchrist