What happens when fashion crosses the line into comedy? With Balenciaga’s “The Mud Show” over the weekend during Paris Fashion Week, folks on Twitter were quick to turn a clip from the show into a viral meme. British magazine i-D posted a clip from the show on TikTok where a model can be seen walking the mud runway with hunched forward as she swung both of her arms. Since its posting posted, the video has received a staggering 20.8 million views, nearly two million likes and over 30,000 comments from people who commented on the muddied runway and the model’s walk.
The walls and parts of the floor were covered in a thick wash of black mud, while ahead was a mud pit, 20 feet deep and cavernous, with numerous pools and puddles of water. Per Hypebeast, the swampish scent permeated the room, while models dragged through the muck. Kanye West had his modeling debut, opening the “Mud Show” and sported an oversized flak jacket, leather trousers and a baseball cap with a hoodie.
Kanye West opening for Balenciaga SS23 at Paris Fashion Week! pic.twitter.com/Kx0yAixNW3— Menswear ♡ (@Itboytrends) October 2, 2022
The unusual setting at Parc des Exposition was “a metaphor for digging for the truth and being down to earth,” Denma, Balenciaga’s creative director told Vogue ahead of the show. He added, “Individualism in fashion is downgraded to pseudo trends dictated by a post in stories of some celebrity of the moment… fashion in its best case scenario should not need a story to be sold to someone… let us let everyone be anyone.”
“I’ve decided to no longer explain my collections and verbalise my designs, but to express a state of mind,” Demna added. “Fashion is a visual art and all we need is for it to be seen through someone’s eyes. You either like it or not.”
The mud-covered runway quickly became a meme, with Twitter user @kirawontmiss describing Balenciaga as a “social experiment.” What followed was Twitter users having fun giving their take on what the fashion show looked like to them. Scroll down to see what they hilariously said of the fashion show:
Balenciaga is a social experiment that has gone for way too long pic.twitter.com/bNkVIVQT3G— kira 👾 (@kirawontmiss) October 2, 2022