Balenicaga

Sometimes, it feels like Balenciaga is the only major fashion house taking risks these days.

While the world gets weirder and (very possibly) worse with each passing day, the Kering-owned luxury house is flourishing. The fashion industry is located at a slightly awkward intersection between artistic expression and commercialism, so creative directors should be applauded when they’re brave enough to tap into the bizarre. More often than not, doing so yields impressive work.

For summer 2020, Balenciaga has outdone itself in terms of oddness. See its latest tweet below.

We’ve mentioned before how Balenciaga was running a kind of meta-commentary about the oversaturation of online content. Now, it’s holding up a mirror to the shambolic state of global media, our collective numbness in the face of things like climate change, and the nonsensical narratives that govern our daily lives.

The dead-eyed expression of the Balenciaga-clad news anchors with CGI-mouths and the trademark prosthetic cheekbones read headlines such as “No More Traffic Jams!” “Where Is All The Water Going?” and “Pedestrians Are Back” (cut to footage of a plastic bag walking down the street). It’s surreal, but not so surreal that it doesn’t feel eerily like real life.

This kind of content, while attracting comments such as “GET. THAT. SHIT. OUT. OF. HERE” and “What in the good fuck is this?” is not coming out of the left field. Balenciaga has been divorcing itself from the conservative fashion advertising tropes with its normcore-style Instagram feed, and indeed, regular-style clothing with exaggerated cuts for a while now.

Which brings us to the clothes! When we consider that fashion campaigns generally stem from the rather insipid and shallow recesses of so-called creative agencies who need to sell product, Balenciaga is making us feel weird. Following an editorial campaign that riffed off political posters, this campaign brazenly speaks to the sheer meaninglessness of everything, while reminding us that the only thing we have left to feel is confusion — and we may as well look chic as hell as we style out our unknowable future.

Words by Max Grobe
Associate Fashion Editor