Balenciaga Pre-Fall 2024 show in Hollywood “Erewhon – nowhere, where individuals are responsible for their own health”. Story by Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE. Photo Courtesy: Balenciaga / Demna Gvasalia.
Well… here’s a new Balenciaga drop… or dropping on Hollywood.
From far it looked like a funeral of Don. But when we got closer to the scene it looked indeed like Balenciaga people. The looks of this collection were banal to tears: oversized shoulders from previous seasons, some “couture” white dress from 2 years ago, Rick Owens-ish silhouettes, pink and black sweats, and the bags of Erewhon market, and some personalities from XXX red carpet (if you know what I mean).
The invited guests, celebrities looked exactly as if they came from the 1872 satirical novel “Erewhon” by Samuel Butler. Erewhon was an anagram of “nowhere”, where individuals are responsible for their own health. But did Demna Gvasalia, creative director of Balenciaga, CEO of Balenciaga Cedric Charbit, or “Godfather” of this all, François-Henri Pinault, owner of Balenciaga, planned this especially the way that turns your stomach, or was it just a coincidence and what they wanted to do it’s just a show to honor Erewhon Market?
Let’s add here some game plan:
- Six days ago, Rihanna and her husband, Asap Rocky, were spotted wearing Balenciaga during a magazine photoshoot. Interestingly, this event seemed reminiscent of the time five months prior when Rihanna and Asap Rocky strikingly posed for Louis Vuitton publicity campaign before the Louis Vuitton Men Spring Summer 2024 show by Pharrell Williams, an occasion that might have sparked envy and jealousy in François-Henri Pinault.
- Just before the show we all had an announcement that Balenciaga has appointed Nicole Kidman as its new brand ambassador. The iconic actress will extend her relationship with Balenciaga, collaborating with the brand in an official capacity. “Balenciaga has been with me through some of the most memorable events in my life, from my wedding to the Oscars red carpet. I’m excited to work with Balenciaga as an ambassador and look forward to creating more memories together,” stated Nicole Kidman. Was it the result of the recent purchase (September 2023) of majority shares of Talent Agency CAA in Los Angeles?
How interesting, isn’t it?
Balenciaga show in Hancock Park of Los Angeles
Ah, the winds of change swept through Hancock Park as Balenciaga orchestrated their pre-fall 2024 show on a blissful Saturday afternoon. The usual haven for affluent Hollywood families witnessed a peculiar sight: a closed-down street transformed into a runway. Forget the high society charm; instead, the serene, tree-lined streets were graced by heels that resembled socks, bags like a high heels, imparting an twerk twist to the neighborhood’s sense of street style. Hancock Park may never recover from this invasion amidst its tranquil surroundings!
Ah, the circus of fashion unfolded yet again: Kim Kardashian, the epitome of subtle ostentation, flaunted a leather tote cleverly mimicking a humble brown paper Erewhon shopping bag—an apparent ode to quintessential L.A. flair. Carrying a bouquet of flowers, she graciously bestowed it upon Demna after the show, because what better way to say ‘thank you’ than with a concoction of leather and blooms?
Meanwhile, the newly anointed Balenciaga brand ambassador, Nicole Kidman, effortlessly parted the sea of gawking onlookers in a velvet dress adorned with a bodice seemingly sculpted by the fashion deities themselves. Amongst this high-society spectacle, Nicola Peltz and Brooklyn Beckham, Vittoria Ceretti, and even the unexpected Lil Wayne were all conspicuously perched in the coveted front-row seats, adding the touch of “Erewhonian mental health” to this couture carnival. Oh, the wonders of fashion and its peculiar assemblage of the who’s who!
The extravaganza kicked off with an auditory assault of techno beats woven with wellness-themed radio ads, peddling a cocktail of nonsensical promises about unlocking unimaginable power and spiritual enlightenment. Amidst the cacophony, the lyrical gems, penned exclusively by Demna and his husband-slash-music director, BFRND, graced the audience’s ears with profound words like, “Welcome hungry souls to the realm of hungry stomachs.”
Behold the collection, a satirical ode to Angeleno style: high-heeled, oversized boots stomping alongside thongs daringly peeking out of low-cut tracksuits. Let’s not forget the pièce de résistance—the leather Erewhon bags, alongside coffee thermoses and the obligatory reusable metal water bottles. Oh, and amidst this eccentricity, Cardi B, adorned in a cobalt furry coat, assumed the role of the utterly bonkers Erewhon model; while Brigitte Nielsen, the erstwhile Helmut Newton muse, graced the stage as the enigmatic IYKYK fashion icon.
Ah, the surreal scene as Balenciaga’s legion of gothically adorned guests descended upon the meticulously manicured Windsor Boulevard in the heart of posh Hancock Park. Witness the collection’s ode to the so called “vibe”, starting with workout attire, gym paraphernalia, and an array of hyperbolic sneakers parading as high fashion. Enter the Y2K velour jumpsuits and colossal high-heeled shearling boots, a throwback meant to transport you back to the “Mad” show. Behold the dresses reminiscent of hastily tied post-coital bed sheets, only if bed sheets were fashioned out of glossy leather—a stroke of pure Demna that nostalgically connects to the trash-bag he proudly presented in fall 2022.
And lo and behold! As the curtains closed, Balenciaga’s CEO Cedric Charbit, in a fit of eccentricity, leaped to his feet and cried, “Encore!” Because what’s a fashion show without a sprinkle of delightful chaos and a dash of absurdity?
Amidst the glamour of one of LA’s picturesque havens, Demna’s keen eye for the city’s stark disparities shines through. Ah, yes, Los Angeles—a city often derided as superficial—yet Demna, this adoring devotee of the City of Angels, plunges deep into its dark soul, revealing its real nature. For in the realm of fashion, even amidst the gloss and glam, one must not overlook the undercurrents of societal discord, as stark as the contrasts between this city’s opulence and its less illuminated realities.
Los Angeles is often called a “shadow” place. And Demna found his home for his soul. Now what’s missing? Like in every comic book we just need a superhero to chase all this dark and perversity away. Perhaps to the hospital, as in fact Demna is no longer responsible for his mental health.
Out of Erewhon, Demna!