For the second time since closing its doors in 1972 (and 51st in its 85-year history in Paris), Balenciaga presented its new couture collection in a memorable physical show. Before it even started, the presentation was already surrounded by rumors that Kim Kardashian would parade, which was confirmed when the businesswoman and influencer crossed the catwalk in a very basic black look.
But she wasn’t the only celebrity who focused the flashes: Nicole Kidman and Dua Lipa (back to the runways since walking for Versace last year) also joined the brand’s powerful cast, which included Naomi Campbell and Bella Hadid.
As with Balenciaga’s return to the couture world in 2021, the new collection attracted thousands of spectators who watched the show online — and some details went viral on social media. Among them, the return to the catwalks of Danielle Slavik, former model and muse of Cristóbal Balenciaga in the 1960s, and the presence of North West, 9, in the front row and next to her grandmother, Kris Jenner, with whom she combined accessories. luxurious.
Below, Vogue Brasil brings together the 10 curious moments from the Balenciaga couture show, in the winter season 2023, that deserve your attention:
1. Familiar faces
You only had to look at the front row of the parade to recognize familiar faces. The two most celebrated presences were grandmother and granddaughter, Kris Jenner and North West combined two crystal Hourglass mini bags (an iconic Balenciaga accessory). In addition to receiving a friendly nod from Anna Wintour, North, 9, was seated next to Cedric Charbit, the brand’s CEO, with whom she chatted before the show began.
Kris Jenner, meanwhile, was alongside American rapper Offset, husband of Cardi B. Other celebrities who didn’t escape the public eye included Korean singer CL, model Emily Ratajkowski, artist Keith Urban (who honored his wife, Nicole Kidman), Euphoria actress Alexa Demie and even other celebrated fashion names like Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli.
2. Luxury real estate agent on the catwalk
The succession of Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid, Kim Kardashian, Nicole Kidman and Naomi Campbell certainly made the biggest impression on the 59-look show. Still, other celebrities also crossed the catwalk, such as Christine Quinn, star of the American reality show. Susent: Golden Mile, from Netflix.
Equally dear was the participation of the Franco-Angolan soccer player Eduardo Camavinga, who became the first athlete in the sport to parade for Balenciaga.
3. Historical Muse
Cristóbal Balenciaga marked the lives of many personalities and Danielle Slavik is no exception. At the age of 78, the model returned to Balenciaga’s salons to show off one of the black looks from Demna Gvasalia’s new collection.
Danielle met Cristóbal for the first time at the age of 20, in 1964, while accompanying a friend who wanted to model for the couturier, who was surprised by her companion’s American printed pants. When asked by him what that was, Danielle replied: “this is the fashion, sir”.
The answer made Balenciaga laugh and the two began a friendship and professional relationship that lasted four years, until the couturier closed the doors of his studio in 1968. In order not to leave Danielle helpless, he asked his former apprentice, Hubert de Givenchy, to welcome her there. In the following years, the model would continue her career at Chanel and Madame Grès, before retiring at the age of 37 and returning, in 2022, to the place where it all began.
4. Aluminum lining
Proving creativity once again, Demna didn’t skimp on resources to bet on bold design. After releasing a destroyed sneaker, the stylist’s new proposal is permanently wrinkled t-shirts. The effect is due to an aluminum layer sewn into the fabric lining, which helps to preserve its structure.
5. faux fur
Another innovation in the collection came in the form of faux fur and feathers that, up close, turned out to be “just” fabric and embroidered silk. Elements like these are closely associated with the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga, who became famous for using animal skin (although he also bet on synthetic alternatives from the 1960s onwards).
A 1959 coat made for the Marquise de Llanzol, for example, was created with an oversized white fox fur collar, which may have been one of the inspirations for one of the white furry coats in the brand’s new collection.
6. Neoprene trend
Fashionsitas watched the start of Balenciaga’s haute couture show with surprise: a procession of black neoprene looks caught their attention and, given the brand’s history, they already promise to appear a lot next season.
7. Narrow passage
The difficulty that some models felt when crossing the presentation room also did not go unnoticed on the internet. Some looks, such as the final wedding dress, were too bulky for the restricted space and caused collective discomfort.
The historic site is the original salon where Cristóbal Balenciaga presented his collections, on the first floor of number 10 on the luxurious Avenue George V. The building was purchased by the couturier and his partners in 1937, where he presented his first collection in August of the same year.
8. Unreleased soundtrack
Passionate about accessories, they certainly noticed the brand’s new bags in the form of a speaker, which accompanied the dramatic soundtrack of the show (it is worth remembering that the first couture presentation last year took place in complete silence). Dubbed “Love in E Minor”, the song was composed by artists BFRND and Gustave Rudman (who has worked on other tracks for the Euphoria series and Maison Alaïa campaigns).
9. Luxurious embroidery
The Balenciaga wedding dress was the look that most attracted attention during the show. In addition to closing the presentation and surprising the audience by making it difficult for the model to pass, the luxurious embroideries throughout the piece also drew attention for their brilliance. The work is signed by the Lesage studio, which has already collaborated with the brand on the first haute couture collection, presented last year.
10. Futuristic Hats
If oversized hats won over fashionistas after they showed in Demna Gvasalia’s first haute couture collection for Balenciaga (and even graced the cover of the first issue of Vogue France), Philip Treacy’s new creations also stole the show this season.
In the last show, the wide brims had already given an air of mystery to some of the models; now, the first 38 to parade had their faces completely covered by the black “helmets”.