Dua Lipa, Kim K & Nicole Kidman Stole the Show at Balenciaga Couture

Today in Paris, Demna Gvasalia unveiled his second couture collection for Balenciaga — and not only were there plenty of celebrities sitting in the front row, but walking the runway too. 

As showgoers including Kris Jenner, Offset, North West, Alexa Demie, and Tracee Ellis Ross looked on, the likes of Kim Kardashian, Nicole Kidman, Dua Lipa, Selling Sunset’s Christine Quinn, Bella Hadid, and Naomi Campbell walked through the historic Balenciaga salons wearing the house’s latest couture collection. The group was eclectic, a little bit unexpected, unbelievably glam, and as always, purely Balenciaga.

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It’s not the first time that Balenciaga has dipped its toe into the celeb-verse for its runway shows. Back for spring 2022, Balenciaga created a red carpet-meets-step-and-repeat runway where among models and familiar faces for the brand, celebrities like rapper Offset and actor Isabelle Huppert posed for the paparazzi cameras and ended up in the Balenciaga lookbook. (This was also the same show in which Gvasalia streamed his own version of an all-American The Simpsons episode, featuring his killer looks touching down in Springfield and housewife Marge even being transformed into the belle of the Balenciaga ball.) 

Another time that the runway felt like a reflection of today’s celebrity culture was the fall 2020 Vetements show, back when Gvasalia was still at the helm. Down the runway came a slew of both delightfully random celebrity lookalikes — including doppelgangers of Naomi Campbell, Mike Tyson, Angelina Jolie, Snoop Dogg, and Sharon Stone — in casting that was sure to make you do a double take.

Of course, the cult of celebrity goes beyond Balenciaga’s runway too. They’ve had the likes of Justin Bieber, Cardi B, and Kim Kardashian star in their campaigns, and have even taken the latter to the Met Gala. Balenciaga’s approach to harnessing star power is different from the more traditional methods of other houses that tap famous faces to become ambassadors. Instead, the Gvasalia effect is more meta; a comment on the cult of celebrity itself. The celebrity doesn’t make Balenciaga, but rather the opposite — the brand molds celebrities into their universe. Bieber might be dressed in Balenciaga’s artful yet non-descript baggy, everyday clothes, while Kardashian can arrive at the Met Gala in a custom head-to-toe black catsuit that covers her instantly recognizable body, metamorphosing one of the most recognizable faces in the world into a Balenciaga-clad tabula rasa.

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