Kim Kardashian has a lot going on right now. The reality TV star turned pop culture icon is (let’s face it) the main character in Disney Plus’s The Kardashians. She’s the designer of SKIMS, the intimates and loungewear brand. She recently launched the beauty brand SKKN by Kim. She’s a mom of four kids, all under nine. AND she’s the girlfriend of Pete Davidson, which we can only imagine is a full-time job in and of itself. But the most recent addition to her resumé is runway model, thanks to Balenciaga’s Fall 2022 couture show.
Looking more like a red carpet than a runway, Kim Kardashian, Nicole Kidman, Dua Lipa, Selling Sunset’s Christine Quinn, Bella Hadid, and Naomi Campbell all took their turn on the catwalk at the historic Balenciaga salon in Paris, sporting fashionable finery. And while the group of celebs was very unexpected, it was very on-brand for Balenciaga.
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Back in Spring 2022, creative director Demna Gvasalia created a literal red carpet for his ready-to-wear collection, complete with paparazzi, famous faces and a special screening of The Simpsons. But the cult status of the brand goes way beyond Springfield. It’s become a mainstay at press events, award shows and Met Galas, and its campaigns resemble a Vanity Fair “Hollywood” issue.
But, as with everything that Demna does, he always stays true to his vision. Celebrities don’t mould Balenciaga to fit their aesthetic; rather, Demna moulds celebrities to fit his. And the same is true of his approach to couture. When Balenciaga relaunched its couture collection last year after a 50-year drought, the creative director was careful to nod to its namesake while still making it his own.
This time around, Demna was more playful. The show started with an array of all-black bodysuits, which have now become a trademark for the brand, and slowly transitioned into surprisingly demure tweed gowns. Denim, latex, fur, feathers, sequins and a material resembling a metallic emergency blanket intermingled in a textural tour de force as more daring and voluminous shapes descended the catwalk. Men were included in the couture conversation and walked in waist-defining suiting. Then the last two dresses were perhaps the most referential to Balenciaga’s ladylike roots, but even they were taken to the extreme, with a skirt so full it had a hard time clearing the aisle of the runway.
And that’s what Balenciaga and Kim Kardashian do best — they make statements. Whether you love or hate them, we are all talking about them. It’s exciting not knowing what will come next, whether it’s a couture sweatsuit or another Kardashian scandal. All we can do is sit back and enjoy the ride.
Click through the gallery to see more from Balenciaga’s Fall 2022 Couture Collection.