Is Kanye West's Opulent Music Video for Balmain a New Take on the Immaculate Conception?

Fashion House's Fall/Winter 2016 Campaign Debuts 'Wolves' Music Video Starring Kim Kardashian West, Sia, Vic Mensa and More

Published On
Jul 29, 2016

Editor's Pick

Earlier this week, Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing revealed that Kanye West would be part of the fashion house's Fall/Winter 2016 campaign with images featuring the musician and model Joan Small. The campaign continues with a dark new music video for West's track "Wolves" off his album "The Life of Pablo," in which he stars alongside his wife Kim Kardashian West and a host of others, including song collaborators Sia and Vic Mensa, as well as Cindy Crawford, Kylie Jenner and more.

The lush, black and white video opens ominously, with silhouettes of barren tree branches against a glowing full moon, cutting to a drawn-out scene of models, decked out in Balmain's opulent wares, rising from prone positions as if being resurrected from the dead. Kanye West then appears, imploring the walkers with tears in his eyes, and serenading his wife, whose sculptural face also pours down with tears as hands paw at her from all angles.

Those are intercut with more freeform scenes of beautiful people letting loose on the dance floor (which according to Vogue were taken from Balmains' Met Gala after party) as well as others featuring a shirtless Vic Mensa and Sia, looking like a bedazzled mushroom with her big wig atop neck-to-toe Balmain.

In all, the video isn't the stuff of usual fashion fare. The clothing certainly gets its due and the artful photography makes it look downright spectacular, but the music video-inspired touches, combined with the song's lyrics and West's impassioned performance offer up a more interesting, brain-tingly watch.

Why are they all crying? Does celebrity hurt that much? Is West offering a new kind of Immaculate Conception story when he says, "I impregnate your mind, let's have a baby without fuckin' What if Mary was in the club when she met Joseph around hella thugs?" You can't help wonder that when Kim's face appears -- looking as if it came straight off the Pieta.

Read more about Rousteing's thinking behind partnering with Kanye West on


Jul 29, 2016
Steven Klein
Art Director:
Pascal Dangin

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