Nicole Kidman, Kim Kardashian and Dua Lipa turn models for Balenciaga

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 (Balenciaga)
(Balenciaga)

A fashion show ending with a bang usually means a supermodel like Naomi Campbell or Bella Hadid has done a final lap in a head turning look.

For Balenciaga’s Haute Couture AW22 collection, revealed today at the brand’s 10 Avenue Georges V salon, creative director Demna Gvasalia wrapped up a post-apocalyptic chic collection in truly extraordinary style.

 (BALENCIAGA)
(BALENCIAGA)

Yes, Naomi and Bella both walked. So too did Dua Lipa, who paraded the white carpeted salon in a yellow mini dress with a huge ribbon train. Next came Kim Kardashian, who wore a skin tight black dress with a cinching corset and attached gloved sleeves. Then Nicole Kidman appeared, who was a vision in a tin-foil effect gown which flowed behind her.

Kidman’s husband Keith Urban, and Kardashian’s mother Kris and daughter North West cheered on from the front row, alongside other A-list names including Offset, and Anna Wintour.

It was the pinnacle of a collection which started strangely. Wetsuit clad men and women waddled forth in bulked stilettoes, face shielded visors and watch face earrings.

 (BALENCIAGA)
(BALENCIAGA)

The opening section focussed on warping proportions, with pointed shoulder pad dresses, small waists and extended hips, before a quick transition into floor length, crystal net dresses and a shimmering black fringed jumpsuit, which felt simultaneouly mesmerising and threatening for its size and weighty movement.

Menswear played a strong part too, which is unusual in traditional couture shows, but not for Gvasalia who included them in his debut couture collection in July 2021. Distressed denim, sculptured t-shirts and oversized hoodies all came forth, to the sighs of those devoted to old school elegance.

 (BALENCIAGA)
(BALENCIAGA)

Glamour came in spades as well. The Spanish house founder, Cristóbal Balenciaga, who shut his couture doors in 1968, was a master of tailored frocks that made him much-loved amongst high society women in the 1950s and ‘60s.

His sculptural work lived on in a pink satin gown which extended into a dramatic horn behind and in Bella Hadid’s green ballgown which had its stiff, balloon skirt sliced into a mini dress behind. There were huge, crinoline skirted pouf dresses in which models struggled to squeeze through narrow doorways.

 (BALENCIAGA)
(BALENCIAGA)

Some came hooded and anonymous, while the finale look was covered in crystal embellishments. As fabulous as it was, it was evidently excruciatingly difficult to walk in.

Monsieur Balenciaga may have been keen on the extensive play on proportions and the famous faces. The patchwork denim jeans? Perhaps not so much.

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