The Internet went nuts this weekend over the Coperni show, at which Bella Hadid walked out in nothing but a high-cut thong and stood there as two men sprayed her body with a material that dried into a kind of spongey fabric. The creative director came out and made some tweaks, and then Bella walked the runway. Here is Vogue’s video, which is useful and also contains a shot of her in motion (which I don’t have in the slideshow):
View this post on Instagram
The line itself put up a movie with close-ups of the webby spray, if you’re interested. It’s undoubtedly cool. The technology has apparently been around since 2003, but never put to this exact use before (that article mentions one application being bandages, which seems a lot more handy in a pinch, as I am not going to sit around and spray myself at home). What sat weirdly with me, which Amy Odell also discussed in her excellent “Back Row” newsletter, was how seeing the process at work felt so… disempowering, maybe? Bella was standing there, cold and essentially naked — she told the Times, “Honey, cold is an understatement, I really blacked out,” and I think you can see her shivering at times — and moving at the whims of two dudes who were all up in her business. It’s also been reported that the model who stood in for her during rehearsals, because Bella couldn’t do it due to her other jobs, was shivering too much to continue. Makes you wonder what they would have done if Bella had experienced that on the day, and whether she’d have been allowed to… have those feelings at all. This is obviously not new; people have stood for portraits and been fitted for clothes and otherwise been tools in an artists’ arsenal before, but often that stuff happens behind the scenes, and seeing it here — even with her arm moving at times — REALLY felt like Bella was just object or a mannequin in that moment rather than a person. Then again, Bella says it was the best moment of her career, and who am I to throw a bucket of freezing cold spray-fabric on that?
But what of the other outfits in the collection? Is there any there there? How many theres can one put in a sentence? Let’s find out. Well, I’m not going to push that last part, I think I already hit the max.