After designing Kim Kardashian’s statement-making Met Gala look, the luxury fashion house Balenciaga set its sights on another household family name: the Simpsons. The animated residents of Springfield, including Bart, Homer, Marge, Lisa and Maggie, have made their runway debut during Paris Fashion Week.
Gathering for the label’s Spring-Summer 2022 showcase, attendees at the Théâtre du Châtelet were treated to a 10-minute special episode of “The Simpsons,” in which the family travels to Paris to model a range of iconic Balenciaga looks.
Joining them on the catwalk were beloved characters like Comic Book Guy and Moe Szyslak, with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia also making appearances.
The episode opens with Homer forgetting to buy a birthday present for Marge, who had longingly scribbled the word “someday” across a Balenciaga ad for a lime green gown. Writing to the label (whose name he can’t quite pronounce: “Balun… Balloon… Baleen… Balenciaga-ga”), Homer asks for the cheapest item available with the label’s name on it.
The fashion house instead sends the dress from the ad, though, and when Homer discovers the price tag – a whopping €19,000 ($22,000) – Marge accepts she will have to return it. However, following an emotional thank-you letter from Homer for making his wife feel special in the dress for just one night, designer Gvasalia decides that the Simpsons and their Springfield friends are precisely the everyday models he needs for his new Paris Fashion Week show.
In the presentation, Waylon Smithers sports an elegant ruby dress, while Marge floats down the runway in a golden gown, complete with a giant bow. After stuffing down escargots, Homer walks the runway in a gigantic puffer jacket with black sunglasses. Bart, meanwhile, makes a statement by pulling down his leather and denim trousers to moon the audience. (They moon him back.)
Balenciaga Spring-Summer 2022 Collection
Balenciaga said in the post-show online presentation that the unexpected collaboration aimed to “push certain boundaries set up between fashion and entertainment… shifting the brand away from an easily definable category.”
But “The Simpsons” viewing was just one part of the presentation, and the way the Spring-Summer collection was introduced by Gvasalia beforehand was another surprise. According to The Cut, guests entered via a red carpet, while those already inside watched a live stream of the entrances. As it turned out, they were actually watching the runway. Secretly mixing with the red-carpet arrivals were real Balenciaga models, including actors Elliot Page and Isabelle Huppert, dressed in the 64 new looks. They later sat in the audience among the attendees.
“The premiere event becomes the show itself,” Balenciaga explained on its website, saying that “the audience becomes the protagonists and vice-versa.”
Top image: Homer Simpson struts his stuff for Balenciaga in the video.