Balenciaga reinvents the beauty of the red carpet at Paris Fashion Week
Tonight, on a rainy evening in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Balenciaga reinvented the concept of the beauty of catwalks and red carpets. As guests stepped out from the covers of the umbrellas, designer Demna Gvasalia’s lens on fame, fantasy and reality for the French fashion house’s summer 2022 show tricked the senses. Outside the theater, walls and floors melted like a sea of ruby velvet, and paparazzi flashes illuminated a cast of characters arriving in the collection itself.
You couldn’t help but wonder: what is real life and what is spectacle? Who is the model and who is the famous guest? K-Pop star Mark Tuan, Naomi Campbell and Cardi B walked the same red carpet as models like Eve Jobs (the daughter of Steve Jobs, who made her modeling debut this year) who wore the oversized looks. and ink of the season. Huge ball gowns have been associated with hairstylist Holli Smith’s vision of gelled, Matrix– esque bangs, while silver leaf capes and dresses flowed under ragged films of extended black eyeliner. The latter is a look we saw at Chloe and Valentino this week, although makeup artist Inge Grognard painted Balenciaga with an appropriate cybergoth touch.
The evening was more like a movie premiere or a CinemaCon crowd than a fashion show (the main event included a screening of a custom episode of The simpsons where Homer wore a single dangling earring, Lisa was seen with her hair styled in curlers, and Bart skated on the animated track). There was a Lara crofta stylish braid that goes past a hood, a full-face mask and Elliot Page (whom Gvasalia dressed for the Met Gala last month) with steel-toed platform clogs and a slicked wet look so believable that it could have been created by time itself. Balenciaga is known to embrace futuristic beauty, such as 2019 cheekbone and lip prosthetics commenting on popular face modification procedures. If screen time, cosplay, and metaverse are the focus of tomorrow’s concerns, these choices may be a clue of what’s to come. If Hollywood dares to remove a page from Balenciaga’s beauty book, awards seasons might see red lips and updos swapped for lavish bangs and raised cheekbones.