I can understand cultish fashion brands and why people get behind them—Céline, Vetements, Wang, even Jeremy Scott—but increasingly it seems to me the Olivier Rousteing Balmain epoch does not exist without the Kardashians. They continue promoting his work, he continues dressing them like 21st Century Carringtons, in gaudy sequins and jaunty shoulderpads; it’s a symbiosis of over adorned, high-end trash culture.
Kanye West obviously factors into this as well; he’s been in the ads, worn Rousteing’s wares to the Met Gala and during many casual hangs. They are so reliant upon one another that Kanye’s video for “Wolves,” a song from The Life of Pablo featuring Sia and Frank Ocean, is not just a video but an advertisement for Balmain’s autumn campaign. Call it synergy; call it sponsored content; call it a good idea for making some damn cash.
In the video, which positions itself immediately as Art thanks to high-contrast black-and-white and some deft FinalCut trickery, a host of models wearing Rousteing’s ornately designed and fussy garments is hoisted to life and struts into the frame, close-ups on Joan Smalls and Jourdan Dunn and some severe-faced male models whom I cannot name. Everyone’s shiny and angular, and then there’s Yeezy and Kim, each wearing the exact look they took to the Met Gala, exuberant in their own tears. Sia’s there, too, but we can’t tell if she’s crying because of the wig. Are they truly crying because there are just too many corny bitches they wish they could unfollow? Honestly, I can relate. Politics sucks. So does #sponcon. Where the fuck is my FitTea.