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Alexis Stone as Jocelyn Wildenstein at Balenciaga Couture
Courtesy of Alexis Stone

Meeting the shapeshifting imposter who sat front row at Balenciaga

Alexis Stone reveals how she transformed into Jocelyn Wildenstein AKA ‘Catwoman’ for Balenciaga’s AW22 Haute Couture show

The star power was strong both on and off the catwalk at Balenciaga’s second Haute Couture presentation yesterday. Celebrities including Alexa Demie and rapidly blossoming stylista North West attended as guests, while the likes of Kim Kardashian, Nicole Kidman and Naomi Campbell walked the runway. But it was Jocelyn Wildenstein AKA ‘Catwoman’ who really stole the show, pulling up head-to-toe in leopard-print with a skintight bodysuit and robe. 

On closer inspection, however, it was clear all was not quite as it seemed. Beneath the leopard spots and lumpy filler, it wasn’t the Bride of Wildenstein who had shown up to enjoy the couture but Alexis Stone AKA Elliot Joseph Rentz, drag queen, make-up artist and internet personality.  

Known for her chameleonic beauty looks, Stone has pulled off some truly impressive metamorphosises over the years. A talented artist, she has used her make-up skills to shapeshift into everyone from Billie Eilish to baby Stormi to herself pre-surgery. But it’s her work with prosthetics that is really show-stopping. Back in 2019, Stone made headlines when she revealed the extreme surgery that followers thought she had undergone months prior was actually an elaborate ruse in a dramatic video in which she pulled off half her face.

The stunt caught the attention of many, including Demna who must have seen in Stone’s work a perfect embodiment of his love for exaggerations. The two have been collaborating throughout this year. Back in March, Stone attended the Balenciaga AW22 show under the guise of an extremely realistic Mrs Doubtfire. This was followed by a transformation into Dolly Parton in May for the SS23 show in New York.

It’s actually surprising that it’s taken this long for Stone to do a full-on Jocelyn Wildenstein tribute, considering how influential her aesthetic has been on her work. But when the time finally came, she certainly didn’t disappoint. The facial transformation was uncanny while the outfit was custom designed by Demna himself. It was also Demna who pushed Stone to take on Wildenstein as his next transformation.

“Demna and I discussed potential characters following Dolly in New York and he said he loved the homage to Jocelyn I had done over the years,” Stone says. “So with the blessing of Jocelyn herself we revamped it and brought it into 2022 referencing an archive look Jocelyn rocked previously.”

The collaboration was four weeks in the making, involving all the prep work of fittings and lots of back and forth flights. “The look was very specific to this character so Demna designed this custom piece for me to wear in leopard print which was exactly how I had envisioned it,” she says, calling debuting the look at the Couture show both “another bonkers moment” and “another normal day at work for me.” 

“Getting to do all of this is a dream come true, to showcase my artistry and bring more attention to Demna’s incredibly work is a perfect pairing. I’m excited and proud to have been able to also bring more attention to the living icon that is my mother, Jocelyn Wildenstein.”