How Bella Hadid Owned Paris Fashion Week and Blew TikTok Sideways

If it weren’t for the explosive and problematic interventions of Kanye West, the rapper and fashion mogul whose YZY “White Lives Matter” shirts spilled like a bucket of cold vomit at Paris Fashion Week on Monday, the biggest story coming out of the barrage of shows would be Bella Hadid’s dominance.

Hadid no doubt has been the fashion moment of the week: At Coperni, she paraded almost naked; attendants spray-painted a substance called Fabrican onto his body before fashioning him into a white robe. The internet raved about the stunt, while more seasoned critics called the moment “a gimmick.”

Indeed, West directly attempted to undermine Hadid on the dress. On Wednesday, he edited a photo of her on Instagram so that her torso also read White Lives Matter, a slogan that Hadid’s sister Gigi has taken strong issue with this week. “You are a bully and a joke,” Gigi wrote to West after attacking a vogue editor who dared to criticize his show.

Bella Hadid took part in 11 fashion shows in 9 days in Paris: Balenciaga, Vivienne Westwood, Miu Miu, Stella McCartney, Thom Browne, Sacai, Courrèges, Coperni, Victoria Beckham, Isabel Marant and Givenchy.

“I just absolutely loved working with her,” Thom Browne told The Daily Beast on Thursday. “Her respect for the whole process is magnificent…her appreciation for everything that goes on behind the scenes to create the magic is magnificent…She is a true professional…a once-in-a-generation talent. .. She transcends fashion in the way she inhabits what she wears and creates her own world… You look at her and you want to inhabit that world… and most importantly, she’s such a nice person.

Paris marked the culmination of Hadid’s stacking fall, during which she also participated in five fashion shows in New York, three in Milan and one in London. Throughout those appearances, Hadid managed to snatch a hard-hitting social media moment from nearly every show via her Instagram account, with some real viral smashes, like the spray-on dress.

Hadid was also a key player in Balenciaga’s mud show, a major hit for creative director Demna Gvasalia which featured models clad in studded leather and comfy sweats roaming the dirty runway. Some carried purses made of empty chip bags, while Hadid in turn sported a simple hoodie, short shorts, fake eyebrow piercings and a plush handbag.

Bella Hadid is dressed in Fabrican Spray-on fabric at the Coperni Spring/Summer 2023 show in Paris on September 30.

Julien De Rosa/AFP via Getty

Hadid is also the inspiration behind several TikTok trends. In the latest, her fans use audio of her saying “So…my…name, my name is Bella Hadid” over videos of themselves engaging in various glamorous activities such as choosing the dressing rather than ranch dressing for their salads or getting lip injections instead of buying groceries.

In another recent trend, inspired by paparazzi footage of Hadid nonchalantly pumping her own gas with her abs on display, TikTok users uploaded clips of themselves walking around in cropped tops at the cheerful look. As of this week, the #bellahadid TikTok tag has 9.8 billion views.

Besides her obvious beauty and enviable body, the qualities that make Hadid such a runway superstar are hard to define, but her chameleon-like ability to completely inhabit the ideal of any designer’s vision to which she caters is a talent that does not achieve nearly enough credit.

The greatest models in fashion history are performers, not human hangers: Naomi Campbell’s iconic walk allowed her to bring every square inch of herself to every show, even if the Campbell sometimes threatened to eclipse the clothes. Kate Moss’ combination of disaffected (very ’90s) ambivalence and utterly innocent coolness is what makes her so mysterious to this day.

Bella Hadid walks the Victoria Beckham Ready-to-Wear Spring/Summer 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week.

Victor Virgil/Gamma-Rapho via Getty

Hadid is something closer to a method actor.

At Victoria Beckham, Hadid looked aloof and skintight in long black opera gloves and an olive green shift. At Vivienne Westwood, Hadid’s gaze on the crowd was highly aware and almost confrontational, an attitude that matched the white boxing gloves she wore. While spray-painted, Hadid was the old-fashioned idea of ​​an artist’s muse: naked, mute, elegant and malleable.

“I think it’s just effortless and not contrived,” New York Image Consultant lead stylist Amanda Sanders told The Daily Beast when asked to define the appeal of Hadid. “I think people are also drawn to the mystique that surrounds real housewives and the fact that she grew up so privileged.

Bella and Gigi Hadid were first introduced to the world as the teenage daughters of Yolanda Hadid, star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Hadid’s father, Mohamed Hadid, is a controversial luxury real estate developer.

Bella Hadid walks the runway at the Sacai Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week.

Pierre Blanc/Getty

“With models, just because it’s their job doesn’t mean they’re good at their job,” Sanders added. Hadid is not only beautiful, but extremely practiced in her craft. “She exudes simplicity and elegance, and she looks so confident and comfortable. It’s a guilty pleasure to watch her. I’ve seen her a million times and I almost feel like to be voyeuristic.

What makes Hadid’s ferocious performances on the catwalk so interesting is the stark contrast to Hadid’s real-life personality as displayed on Instagram: she’s sweet, bubbly and endlessly enthusiastic about her collaborators. She’s also just as willing to talk about the atrocities in Iran as she is to get poetic about her relationship with the late Virgil Abloh.

Hadid and her sister Gigi, who are Palestinian, have also been criticized in the past for sharing Instagram posts calling Israel a colonized land, not a country; this led to the role models being accused of spreading anti-Semitism.

Still, whether she elicits admiration or anger, her week in Paris shows that Hadid is increasingly comfortable forging an identity as a public figure, on and off the catwalks.

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