Balenciaga Introduces “The Lost Tape”
The late 90s’ are back, baby.
The late 90s’ are back, baby.
Text: Madison San Miguel
Make sure to save all your 90s’ “model off-duty” looks because the 90s’ are coming back in a much bolder, grungier and deconstructed way. (In reality, it has never gone away.) When we think back to this era, we associate it with Jennifer Aniston’s voluptuous hair, Calvin Klein jeans and that iconic Cindy Crawford Super Bowl ad. But most of all, we reminisce about the 90s’ for its aesthetic in fashion, or to be more specific, making casual wear a trend. Basic slips, baby tees and cargo pants were inclusive to all, and fiercely played with monochromatic styles and loose silhouettes. Inspired by these trends, Balenciaga is using their Fall 2022 collection to honor and acknowledge the late 90s’ with “The Lost Tape.’’
The collection, coming in the form of a message about “what could have been and never was,’’ evolves the minimalism and grunge of 90s’ fashion. To achieve this, creative director Denma, who will now be referred to by his first name, uses Balenciaga’s signature pieces from the decade, and reinterprets them with new silhouettes, fabrics and tailoring. Conventional pieces, such as oversized coats, become a cross between a bathrobe and trench coat, while vintage slip dresses are disassembled and put back together for a gothic vibe.
On par with the deconstructed theme, “The Lost Tape’’ uses alternative details in almost every piece to symbolize the collection’s message. Oversized safety pins act like a fastening on jackets, and detachable collars mimic a scarf, are some of the unique details seen throughout. Other playful components of the collection are underwear waistbands on jeans, and a travel pillow around the neck of a parka. All of these push 90s’ trends to its limits, but without overstepping.
Just as they were then, “The Lost Tape” makes accessories the forefront of each look. Extra baggy thigh-high boots compliment the collection’s leather pieces, and do not take attention away from the array of baguette bags. Similar in vibe to the thigh-high boots are the unisex ballet slippers, which are simple yet still make a major statement. The baguette bags are also goth in style, with some containing large metal chains, chunky belt buckles and cinched details. Along with the clothing items, all of the accessories are made out of 89.6% certified sustainable plain and ready-to-wear fabrics to continue Balenciaga’s commitment to responsible production.
To introduce the collection, Balenciaga released a 10-minute video featuring a glimpse of backstage life, their most recent show and even Naomi Campbell herself. The entire short film is the epitome of what you’d seen on MTV in the 90s’—time stamp in the middle, VHS overlay and heavily pixelated—but with a modern, glamorous twist. Continuing with the 90s’ theme, Balenciaga created a website that takes viewers back to when vertically-structured websites and simple layouts were a common thing. Like the video, the website feels vintage and slightly punk-rock, and highlights certain looks from the show. Viewers can also watch a series of reviews from 90s’ fashion icons, such as Isabelle Huppert, Cathy Horyn and Esther Canadas.
Watch “The Lost Tape” film, and explore the collection here.