Balenciaga's Spring 2022 Ready To Wear Collection
The Collection of Clones
After “hacking” Gucci’s 100th anniversary collection, Demna Gvasalia, designer of Balenciaga, released his spring 2022 line, accented with Gucci style accessories. The entire collection was modelled by Eliza Douglas, the face of the opening and closing of Balenciaga shows since Gvasalia's first collection with the house in fall 2016. 44 looks were presented through the ultra-high-tech of cloning, with Douglass’s impassive face printed onto each clone and models copying her runway walk to achieve the exact similarity and coordination Gvasalia hoped for. This entering into the realm of cloning and the digital was achieved through photogrammetry, CG grafting of Douglass’s face, planar tracking, rotoscoping, machine learning and 3D modeling.
While proving to be highly entertaining, Gvasalia embeds a critique on fashion’s obsessions with trends which diminishes an expression of individuality in the industry. In a conversation with Vogue, the designer claims, “It's a deep fake of a fashion show. A show that never happened, but the clothes are real, they were made”. The runway unveils this distinguishing between what is real and what isn’t, and prompts us to ponder the actuality behind things.
The line is classically Balenciaga, opening with a black-draped silhouette, followed by the brand’s signature black puffers and oversized silhouettes, trench coats, contrasted with the acutely elegant evening wear. The collection expresses a severe Gothic chic in its streetwear and a playful vibrancy elsewhere. With the clutch bags resembling fast food packaging, and a sweatshirt featuring the Simpsons wearing last season’s collection, Gvasalia displays a stark contrast to the severe white runway accented with the black-clad audience. Perhaps his show is all about these paradoxes, creatively expressed through technology. In accessories, Balenciaga has “stolen” Gucci’s branding, by replacing GG with their BB, redefining the logo on the classic Gucci monogram tone designs. Also, in Rene Magritte design, the fashion house has vandalized a Gucci large tote with, “This Is Not a Gucci Bag”, available in stores from November 2021.