Tonight in Chicago, Kanye West unveiled the third version of his new album, Donda. The rapper built an exact copy of the Chicago house in which he grew up at the Soldier Field stadium, invited Marilyn Manson and rapper DaBaby to the stage, and in the end set a real fire and literally ignited (though quickly extinguished). But the finale of the show was more spectacular than the burning Kanye (although, it would seem, much more spectacular). When the fire went out, Kim Kardashian took the stage in a wedding dress from the Balenciaga Couture Fall-Winter 2021 collection, took Kanye’s hand and disappeared backstage with him. Explaining why the fans of the couple are delighted will be superfluous – after all, everyone knows that a couple of months ago, Kim and Kanye officially divorced.
Demna Gvasalia is the creative director of all presentations of the Donda album. He worked on both the visuals for the show and the outfits for Kanye and his crew. At the first audition, West appeared in a black rubber jacket covered with spikes from the Balenciaga fall-winter 2020 collection. At the third, he wore a leather bomber jacket from the pre-fall 2021 collection. And only at the second Kanye changed Balenciaga with his own collaboration YZY x GAP – on the rapper there was a massive red down jacket from the upcoming collection. It’s the same story with Kim Kardashian: at the first audition, she appeared in a tight black jumpsuit by Demna, at the third – as we already know – in a Balenciaga Couture wedding dress, and at the second – in a red leather Rick Owens jumpsuit. In the color of West’s image.
Kanye West at Balenciaga at the first listening to Donda; Balenciaga Fall Winter 2020
Kanye West in YZY x GAP on second listening to Donda; Kim Kardashian in Rick Owens
The prototype of the snow-white dress with a train is the work of Cristobal Balenciaga in silk satin and gazar, which he created in 1967, a year before the closure of the fashion house. This wedding dress is first of all a symbolic image for Balenciaga himself, and only then for the first Demna couture collection for the brand.
The headdress, inspired by the attire of the nuns, speaks of the influence of religion on Balenciaga’s work. And Demna, by the way, was not the first successor of the great couturier who turned to this image. 13 years ago, Nicolas Ghesquière (who was then the creative director of Balenciaga) reimagined this headpiece in the spring-summer 2008 collection and even put it in an advertising campaign. And four years later – in 2012 – Ghesquière repainted it from white to black and turned it into the main element of the spring-summer 2012 collection.
Balenciaga spring-summer 2008, Balenciaga spring-summer 2012
What is the point of Kim entering the stage for Donda’s third audition? Why was she wearing a wedding dress? One can only guess. But if this means that the spouses are together again (and this is what the American press is already writing about), then the image for the reunion was ideally chosen.