In the year that marked fashion – as well as many other areas of culture and entertainment – the long-awaited return to the physical sphere and the catwalks in the presence of the public, Balenciaga seems to want to build its own completely independent path in the digital and metaverse. And it doesn’t seem to want to stop. After a few months, in fact, from the launch of Fortnite skins and the mini-episode of The Simpsons, the fashion house has recently presented the campaign of the spring ’22 collection by implementing each look with cybernetic facial covers.
In shots by photographer Andrea Artemisio, the ready-to-wear looks debuted during the virtual fashion show – including collaborations with Gucci (The Hacker Project) and Crocs (Balenciaga Crocs 2. 0), and the Balenciaga Runner Sneakers – are complemented and encompassed by the cyberpunk, cybernetic, exoskeletal works of Japanese artist Hiroto Ikeuchi, who had already lent her work for a music video of Arca (KLK ft. Rosalía) last year.
In one of the synthetic images, a model wears an exoskeleton suit designed by the artist in collaboration with robot manufacturer Skeletonics, a team of inventors whose goal is to support “the evolution of humankind by launching a new era of technology that expands the range and function of our movements.” Called the MPS-15sk “Multi,” this special suit also features a tablet built into the front of the armor and speakers installed in the shoulders to play music.
The work will be on display at the brand’s flagship in Aoyama, Tokyo, while others of the cybernetic sculptures will be displayed inside the fashion house’s Japanese boutiques and the French boutique in Paris-Montaigne.
The garments were also presented to the public with a short movie, directed by Yilmaz Sen, which sees the models parading through a sequence of stanzas impossibly interconnected to each other in real life, whose windows allow you to see now glittering metropolises, now remote environments and natural wonders. The video concludes with the slogan, “Here is anywhere”.