When Balenciaga's creative director, Demna Gvasalia, sent his spring 2019 collection down a trippy, LED-lit runway made to look like a strand of digital data beaming through the Internet, the brand took meta to new levels.
The surreal video installation was the brainchild of Canadian digital artist, Jon Rafman, whose work examines the ever-deepening connection between humanity and technology. After taking an instant liking to each other at Art Basel and deciding to collaborate on the show, the French fashion house and renowned artist have linked up again for the latest campaign video.
The frenzied two-minute clip sees a protagonist wake up from a virtual sleep and go straight into a vague but urgent mission through various low-fi dimensions. Jumping through a computerized reality of obstacles, the sunglass-wearing heroine rollerblades, trailing digital fire behind her and hustles to escape some impending doom. Channeling ideas of a hectic future while referring to the grainy images of technologies past, the film packs all the suspense and charm of pre-Y2K movies like The Matrix.
Navigating a virtual reality with the interface of a '90s video game, the Spring campaign builds on some of the ideas most prevalent in Rafman's work. Like in the short video, life online keeps changing rapidly as lines continue to blur the more intertwined with technology we become. These new oddities of online existence are also fertile ground for new ideas. Thankfully, Balenciaga's new-wave nostalgia and the accompanying works it inspires are here to help take you to infinity and beyond.