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Heart of Darkness for Balenciaga

Savoir Flair’s Shoot for Balenciaga Goes into the Heart of Darkness
Balenciaga‘s Creative Director Demna Gvasalia could never have guessed how prescient his apocalyptic vision for Fall/Winter 2020 would turn out to be. 2020: a year that sounded so futuristic, that held so much promise, soon became synonymous with pain. A viral pandemic spread the globe, deaths rose, climate change catastrophes grew, political turmoil spilled into the streets, civil protests surged, a city was decimated by one of the largest explosions in history.

In keeping with the themes set forth in the Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2020 show, photographer Abdulla Elmaz and animator Ran Bensimon created a post-apocalyptic world – almost entirely with the use of CGI.

Elements, like cars and ladders, emerged from underwater, acknowledging the difficulties this year has unleashed. It feels like sinking, struggling to stay afloat, trying to surface from the darkness that threatens to swallow us whole. Reflecting the collective trauma that has brought humanity together in a tumultuous year, Savoir Flair’s editorial shoot for Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2020 is laden with psychological meaning.

A dark backdrop and spectacular lighting sets each scene while also weaving in elements of nature, like alligators and snakes, to echo how nature returned to the urban landscape after populations went into lockdown. The message is simple: within despair, there is hope.

thebensimonHeart of Darkness for Balenciaga
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Spring

Short film inspired by the Painting Ophelia by John Everett Millais, 1851.

There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element; but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
-Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act IV, Scene vii

Music: Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons

thebensimonSpring
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#RELATABLE

In a technologically saturated world, a young Jerusalemite with a longing for human touch and addiction to screens, goes on a digital journey in search of a mysterious girl with whom he is in contact only through digital means and loses his identity online.

thebensimon#RELATABLE
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