How times change. The girl-on-girl sexiness of Balenciaga’s main seasonal ad campaigns under Alexander Wang has been replaced by a grittier, more product-focused approach under his successor Demna Gvasalia.
While I’m not a fan of the collection overall (much of it’s pretty ugly and not quite the ‘future of fashion’ some critics seem to think), there are some good pieces in it. Gvasalia doesn’t know how to make tailoring flatter but he does know how to make high-impact dresses and statement casual outerwear, which come through very strongly in this campaign.
The ads were shot by Mark Borthwick on the streets of Paris but they’re certainly not about the Paris-as-glamour-capital we’ve seen from so many brands for decades. This is a non-fashion Paris that could just as easily have been a backstreet in London, Tbilisi or Chicago. The whole tone of the ads avoids glamour and sexiness too with a more everyday feel that certainly isn’t reflected in the un-everyday nature of these ultra-luxury pieces.