Homer Simpson Was Made for Fashion

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Homer Simpson Was Made for Fashion

Clapping, whispering, cameras snapping, questionable music: These are the sounds of a vintage trend clearly show. Bursts of laughter? People are much less popular.

Yet numerous have been heard last Saturday night time, rolling all around the 19th-century Parisian theater wherever the wonderful and storied home of Cristóbal Balenciaga skipped the regular catwalk and screened a particular 10-minute episode of “The Simpsons.”

It was a shock additional than a calendar year in the producing, and the end result of a occasionally grueling collaboration among two exacting resourceful entities recognized for their focus to depth. So far it has been viewed near to five million times on YouTube.

In the episode, Homer writes to Balenciaga (“Dear Balun, Balloon, Baleen, Balenciaga-ga,” he states as he struggles to pronounce the renowned fashion identify) for Marge’s birthday, explaining that his spouse has generally wished to have one thing by the manufacturer.

He asks for the most affordable merchandise, which the Balenciaga workforce interprets as “just 1 of individuals American gags no one gets” and sends him a costume that charges 19,000 euros. Soon after donning it briefly, Marge returns the dress with a notice stating she’ll “always try to remember these 30 minutes of sensation just a little unique.”

Back again in Europe, the Balenciaga inventive director Demna Gvasalia declares her observe “the saddest detail I’ve at any time heard, and I grew up in the Soviet Union. This is exactly the variety of woman I want to reach!” He then travels to Springfield and decides to “rescue” the “style-deprived” by inviting them to product his clothes in Paris, detailing that he would like “the environment to see true persons in my show.”

The 10 minutes are packed with Easter eggs for die-tricky fans of equally “The Simpsons” and Balenciaga. A non-public Balenciaga jet has landing equipment that seems to be like the brand’s famed sock sneakers Ned Flanders chooses a dress to put on when presented his choice of outfit Lisa at initial acknowledges that walking a runway is “superficial” but then enjoys it immensely.

The collaboration began in April 2020, when Mr. Gvasalia despatched the “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening an email about functioning jointly.

Mr. Gvasalia, 40, who was born in Georgia and watched the clearly show when he was growing up, said the thought came to him all through the first lockdown of 2020. He has a penchant for inserting Balenciaga into mass-current market trends: Underneath his path, the brand name has collaborated with other American sensations, like Crocs and Fortnite.

About “The Simpsons,” he mentioned, “I constantly cherished the tongue-in-cheek humor, the romance and the charming naïveness of it.”

Al Jean, an government producer and author of “The Simpsons,” said that when he realized of the Balenciaga task in January, “my reaction was, ‘What’s Balenciaga?’” He turned to Wikipedia for responses.

His 1st pitch to Balenciaga had a very similar framing to the a person they ended up going with — Marge’s birthday want — but diverged with Mr. Gvasalia’s character deciding that the brand’s following clearly show would be held in Springfield. When the Balenciaga aircraft lands there, its styles aren’t authorized into the United States since they are as well slender and stunning. Springfield’s residents turn out to be the styles, their nuclear plant is the runway, and the ghost of Mr. Balenciaga will make an visual appearance.

But Balenciaga preferred that Springfield be introduced to Paris, Mr. Jean stated. From there, the story was revised and tweaked — to the place that the writers joked about “Draft 52 of the Balenciaga script” — up until two days prior to the Paris showing.

Mr. Gvasalia made particular contributions to the script, Mr. Jean reported. For example, the episode ends with Homer embracing and singing “La Mer” to Marge on a submit-present occasion boat on the Seine. But Mr. Gvasalia wished one particular last joke, so he requested that Homer’s jacket be set on hearth by a Frenchman smoking a cigar. Mr. Jean then recommended that Anna Wintour, who had appeared in the front row of the trend clearly show, consider to put out the fire with pricey champagne, which Homer attempts to drink in its place.

“She stated, ‘Please really don’t have me do that,’ so it turned Demna,” Mr. Jean stated. (Ms. Wintour if not accredited of her likeness currently being applied but declined to voice her character, he said.) And that previously line about Mr. Gvasalia increasing up in the Soviet Union? The “Simpsons” staff experienced resolved to slice it, but Mr. Gvasalia asked for it to be reinstated.

He also requested, the working day just before the display, to alter the color of a tear Ms. Wintour sheds whilst looking at Marge product. The tear was way too gentle, and it would not study onscreen until it was a darker blue. Mr. Jean and the director David Silverman agreed.

“They were undoubtedly our match in terms of, to the very last element, making sure every thing is perfect,” Mr. Jean stated. “The animation crew, this is the most difficult factor they’ve experienced to do given that ‘The Simpsons Film.’”

Mr. Silverman, who directed that 2007 movie, claimed the biggest obstacle was getting the “accuracy desired in the outfits,” which associated inventive write-up-animation outcomes to capture the unique textures and movement of, for illustration, Marge’s runway search: a gold metallic ball robe.

Balenciaga sent the “Simpsons” group 15 appears to be like to decide on from for the ultimate demonstrate, all dependent on styles from the previous 5 yrs. But putting them on the bodies of these universally recognizable cartoon figures wasn’t so simple.

“It was challenging for us, capturing that equilibrium of caricature and the integrity of the outfits,” Mr. Silverman said. “You’re translating the look of real clothing, true models on these figures that are not specifically human proportions.”

Mr. Silverman, who joked-but-not-truly that this is how he put in his summer holiday, examined runway footage to determine out what the audience ought to be sporting and how the lights must be hitting the catwalk.

The script also experienced to seize the unique absurdity of the luxurious style globe and Balenciaga’s stature in that world — anything that just can’t be absorbed on Wikipedia. Mr. Jean reported that in addition to the crash program in Balenciaga earlier in the yr, observing the Netflix series about Halston, who was a wonderful supporter of Balenciaga, served him realize the evergreen abnormal tradition of trend.

The supporting figures are also based on serious people and animals, including Mr. Gvasalia’s partner, Loïk Gomez and their two dogs the chief innovative officer, Martina Tiefenthaler (who voiced herself) and staff from Balenciaga’s atelier who are ending the selection on the plane even though singing, “formidable, formidable.”

This is 1 of Mr. Gvasalia’s beloved scenes in the episode, he mentioned: “It just tends to make me so content every single time I enjoy it.”

As for Mr. Gvasalia’s voice, “we had to attempt to communicate him into enjoying himself, but he didn’t want to,” Mr. Jean said. He felt that was dependable with Mr. Gvasalia’s modern determination to totally obscure his encounter and physique throughout general public appearances, producing confusion among the observers as to whether it was truly him.

When asked why he desired to align Balenciaga with “The Simpsons” and whether or not he felt the brands experienced any commonalities, Mr. Gvasalia reported that “it’s extra particular to me.

“I did not want to align something or make feeling of nearly anything. I just wanted to develop an iconic visible tale.”

Whilst the novelty of the collaboration created it feel shocking, the brand names share a identical ethos. They have an appreciation for self-referentiality, breaking the principles of presentation (airing an episode with live animation turning a purple carpet into a runway exhibit with out telling anyone) and bridging the intellectual and lowbrow. Mr. Jean known as Mr. Gvasalia an “excellent collaborator,” and Mr. Gvasalia described the encounter as “the highest stage of collaboration” and “a aspiration appear correct.”

“I did not comprehend how elaborate it is to develop a 10-moment-very long episode, so enormous respect to that,” he said.

No matter whether the act was meant to obstacle fashion’s self-seriousness or the public’s notions of luxurious — to carry Balenciaga to the suburban masses or to convey the suburban masses to Balenciaga — is one thing he will enable the critics discussion.

What did he want out of this? “A smile and a great dose of pleasurable.”