Balenciaga “Hacked” Gucci Back For Its SS22 Collection
When Alessandro Michele debuted the brand’s highly anticipated Aria collection in April that included interpretations of Balenciaga’s silhouettes—it captured the world’s attention and sparked an international media frenzy. And now, Demna Gvasalia, creative director of Balenciaga, has continued the “Gucciaga” hacking project with the launch of Spring/Summer 2022 collection, surprising the fashion crowd with a lineup of looks and pieces that feature style codes of both houses.
Titled “Clones”, Balenciaga’s new coed SS22 ready-to-wear collection is inspired by the notion of how our sense of reality is mediated through an increasingly filtered, perfected, polished, conformed, photoshopped lens in today’s digital age. To elaborate this concept, Balenciaga tapped artist Eliza Douglas (who has involved in most of the house’s recent shows and major campaigns, as well as Burberry's SS21 presentation) to model all 44 looks for women and men.
In a video directed by French visual artist Quentin Deronzier for the lineup, Douglas appears as a series of digital clones, some of which are deepfakes, or models with the artist's photogrammetry-captured and CG-scanned face digitally grafted on.
In response to the prior “Gucciaga” collection, here, Gvasalia demonstrates his playful interpretations of the silhouettes and emblems of Gucci and Balenciaga to explore and question the ideas of authenticity, counterfeiting, and appropriation within the fashion industry.
Highlights from the collection include bags, leather goods and accessories featuring Gvasalia’s substitution of the iconic Gucci GG monogram with double-B logo. The capsule, which also features a cutting-edge Gucci handbag adorned with subversive graffiti, “This Is Not a Gucci Bag”, will be available in stores starting in November 2021.
In the lineup, we also see the second collaboration between Balenciaga and Crocs that offers a range of pumps, boots and platformed pool slides featuring the classic clog material, as well as a striking evening gown inspired by and in tribute to Divine, the iconic drag artist.