A departure from the sulky, often colorful (save for last season) and visually compelling campaigns created by Steven Meisel and Marie Amelie-Sauve under Nicolas Ghesquière, Wang’s first campaign is no less striking but darker, moody, and much more pared down.
Wang told WWD that with this campaign, shot by Steven Klein, he was going for a “very cinematic portrayal…with lots of emotion” to contrast with the “austerity bestowed in the show.”
Balenciaga campaigns have always used famous faces–whether they were actresses like Jennifer Connelly, supermodels like Gisele, or about-to-be supermodels–and this campaign is no exception. (If you want to take a look back, Balenciaga’s website has a complete archive of its campaigns dating back to 1998. Apologies in advance for the 20 minutes you just lost.) Wang cast Kristen McMenamy, WWD is reporting, only you wouldn’t know it since her face is obscured. All the better to focus on the clothes, for which Wang won critical acclaim in his first collection for the house. Still, if you’re gonna book a pro like McMenamy, it seems a shame to crop out that famous mug.