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Balenciaga SS22
Photography Andrea Artemisio

Bots take over Balenciaga, and more fashion news you missed

Ann Demeulemeester scores the hot spot at Pitti Uomo, while Donatella decks the halls

As megatron musician Arca dropped “Prada” and Kim Kardashian donned a custom Thierry Mugler cowbot costume, this was the week that fashion faced its I, Robot reckoning. Existential anxieties came to the surface as soon as Balenciaga unveiled its campaign for SS22, complete with cybernetic face coverings and exoskeleton suits designed by Ikeuchi Hiroto. Granted, it’s not the first time that Demna Gvasalia has prophesied on end times, sending post-apocalyptic garb down water-soaked catwalks and recruiting deep fake news anchors to present doomsday TV coverage. But in a culture obsessed with invisible techno-dystopias, like the metaverse, CGI Mark Zuckerbergs, and whatever else it is that lurks on the blockchain, there’s something quite retro about the fashion-bot. After all, Kim didn’t look scary, she looked like a pin-up from a B-side horror flick, and Balenciaga, with all its eyelet-strewn, mall goth jeans was really more cyberdog than cyber-destruction. Nihilistic nonetheless, but at least these robots are somewhat tangible and can’t be sold as an NFT.

In other spooky news, celebrities pledged their allegiance to TikTok gags and erm, each other, this Halloween, dressing up as Voldemort, Baby Yoda, and Kravis. Chloë Sevigny returned to her “Sugar Kane” days, staging a hostile takeover of the Marc Jacobs’ offices as Gucci enveloped Los Angeles’ Hollywood Boulevard with its schmaltzy Love Parade, inviting curve models to walk the runway for the first time in 100 years. Over in Glasgow, where things are decidedly less glam, but far more prescient, fashion organisations united with a COP26 call to arms. For everything else that may have passed you by this week, click through the gallery below.