Balenciaga Takes a Journey By the Gucci ‘Hacking Lab’

Again in April, with the debut of the Gucci Aria collection, designer Alessandro Michele introduced what he called his “hacking lab,” in which he “plundered the nonconformist rigour of Demna Gvasalia.”

Well, in fashion, turnabout is always fair play, and now its Gvasalia’s turn to do some plundering of his own. On Sunday, the designer’s Spring 2022 collection for Balenciaga hit the virtual runway — with some rather uncanny deep-fake work, as director Quentin Deronzier subbed in artist and longtime Balenciaga model Eliza Douglas’s face for every single look — and a handful of the exits featured plays on the Gucci logo. Gvasalia took the signature double-G monogram and swapped out it for double-Bs on everything from bags to belts. (He played with other logos, too: A hoodie with “BéBé” spelled out in rhinestones fulfills all your early-aughts throwback needs.) This take on the “hacking lab” comes complete with Gvasalia’s dry wit; a limited-edition series of bags say “This Is Not a Gucci Bag” — because they’re not, but they also are, like René Magritte’s pipe…get it?

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