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Balenciaga: Winter 2018Photography Pierre-Ange Carlotti & Johnny Dufort

Go backstage at Balenciaga exclusively via Demna Gvasalia’s new book

Pierre-Ange Carlotti and Johnny Dufort were the only photographers allowed by the designer to shoot behind-the-scenes at the AW18 show

Since taking over as artistic director of Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia has enforced a strict policy that doesn’t allow any photographers backstage – a rule he decided to break at his AW18 show. Enlisting not one, but two photographers – Pierre-Ange Carlotti and Johnny Dufort – Gvasalia gave them unprecedented access. 

The images are presented via the designer’s first book for the house, entitled Balenciaga: Winter 2018. “A show is an experience and this book is a tool for remembering it,” the designer says. Each with a signature style (Carlotti’s film-focused snapshots, and Dufort’s overexposed digital portraits), the photographers provide an insight behind-the-scenes at a Balenciaga show – this one in particular having a graffiti-covered snow slope set that models pose on in their layered, oversized looks.

As always with everything Gvasalia does, the technical detail of everything is shown up close, with two neon colours added to the prints to give a more vivid appearance – that can only be truly experienced by looking at the book itself, not on a screen. 

Now that he has one book under his belt, Gvasalia wants to continue to explore this with his shows going forward. “I realised that every show I do from now on for Balenciaga is cinematographic in terms of concept and setup,” he says. “I’d like to accompany each of them with some memorabilia, something that actually put you into that show and the process behind it.” 

Balenciaga: Winter 2018 is available from both Rizzoli and Balenciaga online, and in boutiques from November 7.