Balenciaga continues to twist and subvert the format of a fashion show, this season sending its models down the red carpet in front of awaiting paps as they entered Paris’s Theatre du Chatelet ahead of an undisclosed screening.
Balenciaga’s Summer 22 presentation consists of two parts: a photocall on a Hollywood-style red carpet, and a movie premiere. Guests wearing the new collection pause on the walkway before being ushered into a theater screening the short film The Simpsons I Balenciaga.
The Simpsons for Balenciaga is the latest in a progression of activations that push certain boundaries set up between fashion and other forms of entertainment, culture and technology, shifting the brand away from an easily definable category. A cast consisting of Balenciaga’s friends, models and team members wearing the Summer 22 collection are part of an automatic performance wherein the premiere event becomes the show itself. Red-carpet arrivals are documented, setting up a series of role reversals like in The Simpsons I Balenciaga where the audience becomes the protagonists and vice-versa.
The collection represents the complete Balenciaga palette: a wardrobe of streetwear, daywear, tailoring, elegant eveningwear and proto-couture pieces. Silhouettes vary from ultra-slim to disproportionately oversized. A commitment to responsible production continues, represented this season with upcycled denim, leather, fine textiles, and embroidery, as well as material innovation: plant-based leather is made from a mix of fibers derived from cactus and bio polymers. 95.2% of plain and printed fabrics in the collection are certified sustainable.
The collection includes several accessory debuts and updates. The Space Shoe is a highly innovative single mold alternative to the classic derby, made entirely of EVA material. Loafers made of soft calf become slipper-like, accentuating the notion of comfort in a classic men’s shoe. Part of an ongoing collaboration with Crocs, Hard Crocs turn the soft clog into a metal-fortified platform with a cyber goth aesthetic. The Defender is a new superchunky sneaker with extreme tire tread. Trompe l’oeil boots mimic a stiletto sandal worn over a sock. The Cagole Boot is a footwear version of the classic studded bag made in arena leather.