Broadcasted on Instagram earlier this month, titled “Clones”, was a CGI production showcasing Balenciaga SS22 collection. The audience wore all black, dotted on the clean white bleachers as they watched digital twins of Eliza Douglas carry out the collection on a narrow catwalk.
The show began with the following words over white:
“We see our world through a filter-perfected, polished, conformed, photoshopped. We no longer decipher between unedited and altered, genuine and counterfeit, tangible and conceptual, fact and fiction, fake and deep fake. Technology creates alternate realities and identities, a world of digital clones.”
It looks like Demna Gvasalia has been experimenting with fashion and technology quite often following his theory of fashion designing: “Fashion to me is a mirror, a reflexion of what’s going on around us. This is manifested in the collections. Daily life is what speaks to people, everyday life. They are Balenciaga archives transposed from the 1950s to today, adapted to 2018, 2019, to the future.” Said by Gvasalia in a Vogue Fr interview.
The collection included individualistic pieces that seem to have a personality of their own. The designers used every shade on the color palette; there was a striking yellow cape dress uplifting the mood, and then there was a dull purple hoodie that somber the air. Following the idea of taking old shows to the future — the collection also featured this year’s popular shoes, and a comeback of Balenciaga 2018 – Crocs, and lots of polka dot and floral prints, cocoon coats, asymmetric drawings, BB slogan t-shirts, and many other pieces that screamed Gvasalian Couture. With sporty sweatshirts and trousers, sophisticated dresses, trench coats, scarves, and handbags (including Gucci’s, “this is not a Gucci bag”), it seems the Balenciaga SS22 had a little something for everybody.
To create this other-worldly vibe, Demna consulted various tech geniuses. Quentin Deronzier is a French director and visual artist and was one of the hybrid geniuses that came on board to create an alternate way to showcase fashion. The show’s post-production included planar tracking, machine learning, rotoscoping, CG grafting, 3D modeling, and photogrammetry.
If this wasn’t your first time watching a Balenciaga SS22 fashion show, then you know the brand’s famous muse Eliza Douglas and her prominent cheekbones. For this show, she was the sole model to don the entire collection. She lent her face to the deep fake models through photogrammetry and CG scan. As the clones walked out of the narrow opening onto the catwalk, an AI bot’s voice echoed reading the lyrics to the famed La Vie En Rose, which felt quite eerie against the whole matrix-looking setting. While the show was not real, the entire collection was.