Harmony Korine Directs ‘The Lost Tape’ For Balenciaga

We can’t be exactly sure why, but the ’90s are definitely back, especially in fashion. And our recent interview with supermodel Claudia Schiffer reminded us of just how wildly creative it all really was. The reasons for said nostalgia may have to do with our currently facing the twin apocalypses of environmental destruction and a pandemic which has already claimed more than 5.3 million lives around the world.

Of course, those pre-millennial times meant we were also looking up and taking in the world around us, instead of staring down at five inches of mindlessness. One of the people who was doing things we were all looking at was Harmony Korine, whose films Gummo and Julien Donkey-Boy helped to define the weirdest reaches of the contemporary culture. And so Balenciaga went and hired him on to help them revisit that time, with Monsieur Korine providing art direction for the house’s Pre-Fall 2022 Collection presentation and resulting film The Lost Tape. The event was also marked by the announcement that Georgian Creative Director and Vetements Co-Founder Demna Gvasalia would from here on simply be known as Demna – which is actually fine by us, since we’ve always stumbled over the pronunciation of his surname. It’s also, obviously, a very ’90s thing to do.

The final 10:27 film shows the camcorder indicators all the way through, as in REC 00:13 – remember that? And there’s a very retro sense of a fashion show as a big, exclusive insider party – and there’s something we really miss about the whole, “If you don’t know about it, you don’t know about it” attitude of those times. (Believe it or not, sometimes we didn’t get invited to things – and we were cool with that.) Balenciaga proffers the concept of this being “a message from the past about what could have been and never was.” It’s all furthered by Korine handing over a note that says, “Hi, I found this. I made it for you many years ago. I finally found it.” Ah, The Lost Tape!

To be honest, in this age of stultifying earnestness, we really do miss all this sort clever deception and high-conceptualization that was just a matter of fashion fact back then. As for the clothes themselves, rave and grunge references, high-fashion parkas and deconstructed suits are all very much enough to fool us into believing, if only for a few moments, that Y2K never actually came and went. If only.

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