Balenciaga Conjures Up a Fraught Hollywood Dream, and Other News

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Balenciaga Pre-Fall 2024. Photography by Taylor Hill/Getty Images

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Balenciaga Conjures Up a Fraught Hollywood Dream

Though Balenciaga’s Resort 2024 collection suggested otherwise, creative director Demna rarely shies away from spectacle or social commentary. That approach hasn’t always served the label well—the harbinger of haute suffered a fall from grace after viewers claimed a disastrous campaign promoted pedophilia and its entanglements with Ye came under scrutiny following his public antisemitism. The scandals encouraged Demna to “question absolutely everything now,” he told Vogue earlier this year. “I will have a more mature and serious approach to everything I release as an idea or an image. I have decided to go back to my roots in fashion as well as to the roots of Balenciaga, which is making quality clothes—not making image or buzz.” 

That wasn’t quite the case at Balenciaga’s Pre-Fall 2024 show, which was held on a pristine tree-lined Los Angeles block with the Hollywood sign looming in the distance. A not-so-subtle homage to Demna’s “favorite city in the world” and the relentless wellness and celebrity cultures it fosters, the looks mimicked typical Angeleno tropes. A ripped dude in gym shorts clutched an iPhone to his ear; ill-fitting velour tracksuits were paired with sunglasses to hide from the paparazzi lurking outside Erewhon. On that note, the label partnered with the cult grocer on logoed leather totes—so much for forgoing buzz—and a juice made with activated charcoal powder that was as black as the clothes worn by the A-listers perched in the front row. “I don’t know what’s in it,” Demna said about the juice, a tad too on the nose. “I just wanted it to be black.” —Ryan Waddoups

Thom Browne. Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s taps Thom Browne to curate its upcoming “Visions of America” auction series.

Sotheby’s has enlisted designer and CFDA chairman Thom Browne to curate its upcoming “Visions of America” auction series that aims to showcase the diversity of American fashion at this moment and elevate designers as artists. This auction will feature 500 items spanning art, furniture, spirits, and a collection of archival fashion looks from American designers, titled “Defining American Style.” Browne, as curator, has selected nine works that represent American artistry, including Charles Willson Peale’s portrait of George Washington and Thomas Moran’s Green River, Wyoming, landscape. Proceeds from the “Defining American Style” auction will support scholarships and mentorship for emerging designers through the CFDA Foundation. 

Cristiano Ronaldo is facing a $1 billion class-action lawsuit for promoting Binance NFTs.

Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is facing a $1 billion class-action lawsuit in a Florida federal court. The lawsuit alleges that Ronaldo’s promotion of cryptocurrency exchange Binance and its NFTs was deceptive and unlawful. Ronaldo encouraged his fans to invest with Binance, leaving them with the impression of safety, but many lost money. The suit also claims Ronaldo should have disclosed how much he was paid for the partnership. NFTs, once popular, have seen a decline in value amid crypto industry scandals, including Binance’s recent legal troubles.

The Kamwokya community playground by Kéré Architecture in Kampala, Uganda. Photography by Iwan Baan

Diébédo Francis Kéré has been named among Time’s most influential climate leaders.

Time magazine has unveiled its inaugural Time100 Climate list, recognizing individuals making significant progress in the fight against climate change. Among those featured are architects William McDonough, known for his contributions to the circular economy, and Pritzker Prize winner Diébédo Francis Kéré, recognized for his sustainable architecture. In the design and fashion sectors, Stella McCartney was lauded for her work in developing sustainable textiles, while in the business world, leaders like Mina Hasman of SOM and Jesper Brodin of IKEA’s Ingka Groups were highlighted for their efforts to reduce carbon footprints. The list also includes individuals from materials companies contributing to decarbonizing buildings and products.

David Hockney illuminates London’s Battersea Power Station with giant Christmas trees.

David Hockney is illuminating London with vibrant Christmas-themed digital displays of two giant animated trees on the facade of Battersea Power Station. Hockney’s work, titled Bigger Christmas Trees, will adorn the landmark’s 328-foot-tall watchtowers from 5:00 to 10:30 PM daily until Christmas Day. The projections, made using an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, follows two other of the 86-year-old artist’s shows in London: a recent immersive display at Lightroom and an exhibition of his friends, family, and Harry Styles at the National Portrait Gallery.

Plans are unveiled to repair Bologna’s leaning Garisenda tower, a 12th-century landmark.

Plans have been unveiled to repair Bologna’s leaning 12th-century Garisenda tower, one of the Two Towers overlooking the city center. The $4.65 million project is set to commence early next year. While Italy’s civil protection agency is maintaining a yellow alert for caution, the mayor aims to have the towers designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Garisenda tower has been leaning since its construction; reinforcement work has been ongoing since the 1990s, with preliminary measures to create a containment area and surveillance for safety.

“Nativity with St Francis and St Lawrence” (1609). Image courtesy of

Today’s attractive distractions:

A new podcast unpacks the theft of a Caravaggio from an Italian church.

Is mortadella’s millennial-pink hue winning it a new American fan base?

A Florida woman is mysteriously regaining her long-lost sense of smell.

There’s much to dig about the burgeoning trend of full-size interior trees.

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