Among this week’s most anticipated shows in Paris has been that of Balenciaga, creatively helmed by Demna Gvasalia. (The Georgian fashion designer is also the co-founder of the streetwear collective Vetements.) Top celebrities at Balenciaga’s Fall/Winter 2022 Haute Couture show not only sat front row, but they also walked the runway. As guests such as Kris Jenner, North West, Offset, Alexa Demie, and Tracee Ellis Ross viewed from the sidelines, the likes of Kim Kardashian, Nicole Kidman, Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid, and Selling Sunset star Christine Quinn walked through the historic Balenciaga salons in the latest collection. The group was eclectic but still glamorous and exuded a type of elegant coolness that has become the modern hallmark of the fashion house.
Many attendees wore all-black looks à la Kim at the 2021 Met Gala. For example, Ross wore a pleated, asymmetrical black dress with slouchy, thigh-high leather boots in the same color, while Demie went even more minimalist in a floor-length, turtleneck dress in black with coordinated pointed-toe shoes and sleek sunglasses. Emily Ratajkowski similarly dressed in black — her look consisted of a tube top, low-rise trousers, and pointy heels. Meanwhile, Kidman and husband Keith Urban were both dressed in all-black looks when they were photographed departing the show later
The show itself was a mix of architectural, dark- and light-colored frocks in sumptuous textures. Among them, there was Kidman’s metallic silver look, a short yellow frock worn by Lipa, and a fresh twist on the high-low hemline was debuted by Hadid. Two grandiose ballgowns — a one-shoulder style in light pink (modeled by Inti Wang) and a shiny black number with an oversized, ruff-like collar (worn by Naomi Campbell) — filled the corridors.
Balenciaga, the house that once dressed Grace Kelly, Ava Gardener, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and its employment of celebrities at the couture show seemed to be a moment for the label to remind the world that they are on top of their game, thanks to a mix of innovative design and cult-like celebrity clout. After all, who else would string together such a jarring combination of reality TV’s notorious villain Quinn, Oscar-winning actor Kidman, and modeling royalty like Naomi Campbell? The common thread: contemporary icons, and their natural relationship with high fashion.
To further that point, the celeb-verse is hardly newfangled territory for Balenciaga. Founder Cristóbal Balenciaga had a penchant for dressing those with a strong presence in culture and sense of style, and Gvasalia has taken the legacy to a whole new level. For Spring/Summer 2022, the label created a runway of models and familiar faces, like rapper Cardi B and French actor Isabelle Huppert, who posed for the paparazzi cameras and landed in the Balenciaga lookbook. (This was also the same show in which Gvasalia streamed a 10-minute clip from The Simpsons, which featured his creations in Springfield.) Another instance where Gvasalia’s runway seemed to mirror today’s celeb-focused culture was the Fall/Winter 2020 Vetements show, before his exit. Down the runway came a cast of celebrity lookalikes — doppelgängers of Kate Moss, Mike Tyson, Angelina Jolie, and Snoop Dogg — that made viewers stare wondrously.
Ahead, see Balenciaga’s Fall/Winter 2022 Haute Couture lookbook photos, which features the stars in their respective ensembles.