On Monday, the fashion brand Balenciaga apologized for two different recent ad campaigns, subjects of widespread disdain from both conservative talking heads and air-headed celebrities, one for its use of child models in close proximity to stuffed animals in bondage wear and the other for its inexplicable inclusion of child pornography court documents as set dressing. This apology came after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, during which many who were bored beyond measure arguing with their families took to social media to condemn the brand, which is something of a fashionista favorite right now. Now, Balenciaga — which abides by vague European aesthetic standards and once advertised on Gawker — is caught in an unnecessary storm that is less a question of morals and more a question of which celebs have free time on their hands.
A handful of famous people, some affiliated with Balenciaga and some humble wannabes, have “spoken out” against the campaign. Kim Kardashian, who only ever wears Balenciaga or SKIMS, said she was “shaken by the disturbing imagery” and is now “re-evaluating” her deal with the company. Kanye West told paparazzi that celebrities were “controlled.” Julia Fox, who has nothing to do with Balenciaga, defended Kardashian’s statement. Paul Walter Hauser, best known for playing Richard Jewell in Richard Jewell, made a post about it on Instagram for some reason or another. Not to be like “touch grass,” but some of these celebrities should have been doing Thanksgiving dishes in lieu of posting.
Are celebrities responsible for the brands they represent? Not really. Is Balenciaga weird for doing these campaigns, especially the one with the court documents, which has already resulted in them suing their production company? Certainly. Is it suspicious how many levels of approval this all went through before it went out and everyone was seemingly fine with it up until it wasn’t? One hundred percent. Is all of this a giant, stupid distraction designed to draw out the collective aneurysm we all appear to be having? That’s on you.
But there’s one person with whom this has nothing to do, whose silence is not an endorsement, but whose stature makes her simply above this whole scandal, and that’s frequent Balenciaga wearer and acclaimed French actress Isabelle Huppert.
Here she is modeling Balenciaga. Wow. To quote that House of Dragons girlie: “Ooh, stunning!”
Here’s another beautiful photo of Mme. Huppert in Balenciaga.
Here’s someone who doesn’t post or give a shit about what this is all about. Just to prove that Huppert wears more than Balenciaga, here’s a recent photo of her in Dior in Marrakesh.
Très jolie, ma reine! Anyway, doesn’t this all remind you a bit of the part of Elle where it turns out that there’s some infamous photo of Huppert when she was a child with her serial killer father or maybe she’s surrounded by bodies, and all of that is held against her as a professional video game designer? I’m not saying that the children in Balenciaga ad are at risk of a Verhoeven-esque future; I’m just saying this is all very European (derogatory) minus the part where one of our great actresses is just ignoring this completely in which it becomes European (complementary).