Balenciaga's Fall/Winter 2024 Show Was An Ode To The LA Cool Girl

Both past and present.

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 02: Cardi B walks the runway down South Windsor Boulevard during ...

While the early aughts and its barrage of velour-clad It girls have been a strong source of inspiration for some years now, Balenciaga is doubling down on their iconic magnetism. In fact, for the brand’s Fall/Winter 2024 presentation, creative director Denma took audiences back to the scene of the pop culture crime: Los Angeles. Yes, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, on mid-city’s South Windsor Boulevard, Balenciaga brought its attendees — which included A-listers Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Eva Longoria, and the label’s new brand ambassador Nicole Kidman — on a journey into the inner workings and life of an LA It girl, both past and present.

Set to a looping track of overly cheerful advertisements for easy solutions to life’s daily stressors, the satirical tone of the presentation was clear from the jump. (“We’ll teach you how to meditate, to forgive, and be at peace with your inner self! So, what are you waiting for? Medi-Station — breathing away all of your frustrations!”) The message seemed to poke fun at the city’s now notorious contradicting culture of wellness-obsessed aspiring influencers who boast a simultaneous hankering for consumerism, quick-fix magic pills, and cell phones.

The initial stream of looks served as a time warp of sorts for many, with models stomping down the street in candy-colored low-rise track suits that revealed a hint of thong. The monochromatic suits were accessorized to the gods via high-heeled UGG-inspired sheepskin boots, wraparound sunglasses, clutched to-go cups of coffee (à la Britney Spears circa 2003), and the occasional yoga mat. Slowly bringing us to the wellness boom of the 2010s, homages to the glamorous local hiking scene were sprinkled in, with skin-tight leggings balanced out by oversized track sneakers, zip-up hoodies, and large crossbody bags thrown over one shoulder.

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Then, the casual, model off-duty march eventually transitioned to a more present-day picture of the Los Angeles media darling. Grungy oversized denim was paired with flashy animal print coats and bright stiletto nails holding large Erewhon shopping bags, seemingly filled with overpriced organic goods. Rapper Cardi B herself made an appearance, strutting down the runway clutching a floor-length cerulean teddy coat close while pouting her perfectly lined cocoa-brown-shaded lips.

Meanwhile, latex thigh-high boots pulled over body-hugging denim and fitted turtlenecks — spotted, most notably, on the statuesque and iconic Briggite Nielsen — perfectly captured the sexy dressing trend that’s dominated the post-pandemic world. There were also pantaboots and crop top combos worn by high-heel clutching models, who either walked alone (while talking on a cell phone) or in pairs (in mid-conversation with each other). Either way, everyone looked too busy to bother with being present or in the moment.

Los Angeles has long been criticized for its inconsistent and unestablished fashion scene, with New York City often praised as the mecca of elevated style in the US. In truth, the LA girl is still somewhat sporadic and undefined — but she’s there in all her un-self-aware glory if you look around on your next Runyon Canyon hike or trip to the Los Feliz farmer’s market. Balenciaga’s latest presentation is certainly making a strong case for the West Coast’s impact on the industry and pop culture as a whole, even if it’s served with a side of satire.

Keep scrolling for a sampling of key looks from the collection.

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