They said/We said: Benches break at Balenciaga and—gasp!—everyone has to stand

Photography by Marc Piasecki/WireImage

Photography by Marc Piasecki/WireImage

Balenciaga’s SS 2012 show is all over Twitter and fashion news sites this morning, but not for the reasons you would expect. The headlines were enough to make any fashion editor cringe with sympathy: “Broken Benches Send Editors and Buyers Crashing to the Floor at Balenciaga Show” and “Balenciagea Attendees Forced to Stand Throughout the Show Because of Faulty Benches”. No one was hurt, thank God, but standing during a runway show? How terribly gauche!

Thanks to live Tweeting, we get to experience the event almost as if we were there. Runway show veterans the Traina sisters were the first to hear the bench creaking, and jumped up seconds before it came crashing to the floor. (Kate Lanphear and Eric Wilson weren’t so lucky!) But despite the surprise of a standing-room-only presentation (and difficulty for the shorter members of the audience), the show did go on. Everyone present, including the likes of Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Salma Hayek, and François-Henri Pinault, stood like champs, and watched the show as though the models were brides heading down the aisle. We can’t even imagine how horrible it would have been had Anna Wintour been one to fall on the floor.

Even with the unexpected drama, the show was a success for everyone involved. In the grand scheme of things, it will be Nicolas Ghesquière‘s designs that will be remembered, and not the benches—and besides, don’t groups tend to bond in the face of adversity? What a way to bring fashionistas together!


Fashionista: “There are few designers who can expect editors to not only stay at a show, but stand, after multiple benches creak, crack, and finally give way, sending fashion notables to an ungainly heap on the floor.” [Fashionista]

Alexandra Shulman, Vogue editor: “It created quite the spirit of camaraderie.” [Vogue UK]

@emma_whitehair, Selfridges fashion PR: @Selfridges team first to hit the floor @Balenciaga. Still can’t quite believe that the all benches broke… #PFW [Fashionista]

@BazaarUK: Even legendary Catherine Deneuve took it in good grace..Could it mean the death of the seating plan… #PFW #Balenciaga [Fashionista]


Jordan Porter, fashion market editor: “Just in case the fashion flock needed an added excuse to fret about their figures, Balenciaga’s benches collapsing under the weight of show attendees will certainly have editors worrying about that early morning macaron! Thankfully nobody was hurt, except for maybe a pair of Jimmy Choo’s.”