In what has been described as “the standout coup of Paris Fashion Week”, Spanish fashion house Balenciaga rewrote the rules of high fashion at their Summer 2022 show by doing away with their catwalk portion entirely.
Instead, attendees at the Théâtre du Châtelet on 2 October were treated to a 20-minute livestream of the VVIP arrivals interspersed with models on the red carpet – all decked out in the latest Balenciaga pieces – from actor Elliot Page, supermodel Naomi Campbell, Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, and the power couple of Cardi B-Offset.
What followed was even more astonishing.
As the lights went out, the theatre in the heart of Paris’ first arrondissement bore witness to a completely-unexpected screening of the beloved American cartoon characters, The Simpsons.
The 10-minute clip, which is also available on YouTube, parodies high fashion and it’s overt materialism and herd-mentality, with the plot revolving around Balenciaga head honcho Demna Gvasalia flying out the whole town of Springfield to model his fashion show.
In true Simpsons fashion, the events of the episode are instigated by lead character Homer’s complete ineptitude as a human being, with him forgetting to buy Marge a gift for her birthday in asinine fashion.
The subsequent fashion show sees many of the sitcom’s main characters strut the runway in classic Balenciaga pieces to an initially hostile crowd.
Cue Anna Wintour, who says simply “I like it”, and suddenly the whole crowd are on their feet in praise – a naked satire of the times.
From the outside looking in, the whole charade might not make a lot of sense. A devious prank? A scathing criticism of the fashion industry? Or simply Gvasalia living out a childhood fantasy from growing up watching The Simpsons in the Soviet Union?
However, those who follow his career know that the shtick is wholly consistent.
Since breaking into the industry in charge of womenswear at Masion Margiela and Louis Vuitton, he co-founded the iconoclastic label Vetements with his brother Guram in 2014 to worldwide acclaim.
Having only just taken over at Balenciaga in 2015 from Alexander Wang, he has consistently challenged the mould with his sharp critiques of the archaic conventions in fashion.
Kim Kardashian’s recent fully blacked-out outfit at the 2021 Met Gala was a brainchild of Gvasalia’s, and he even appeared next to her in matching featureless attire.
He also collaborated with Kanye West to ideate one of his DONDA album listening events, so he is no stranger to adding his vision to other mediums.
We can wholly expect many more cross-cultural amalgamations from this Georgian designer in the future, and that’s on Lard Lad Donuts!
Watch the special episode below: