‘Catwoman’ Jocelyn Wildenstein to Attend Balenciaga Couture Show


Balenciaga is known for working with an eclectic roster of celebrities, but Jocelyn Wildenstein — the plastic surgery-happy socialite and ex-wife of billionaire Alec Wildenstein — certainly isn’t the first person I’d predict to make an appearance at the house’s Fall 2022 couture show.

So when Wildenstein, nicknamed “catwoman” by the media for her feline appearance, announced her imminent presence at Demna Gvasalia’s upcoming outing, I was pleasantly shocked. Shocked because Wildenstein has kept a relatively low profile since filing for bankruptcy in 2018, and pleasantly because I have long admired her unusual glamour.

It’s about time Wildenstein reclaimed her place as a connoisseur of style. While married to Mr. Wildenstein, she purchased a $350,000 Chanel dress, designed in collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld. She owned a pet cheetah, Siri, and a pet lynx, Bastet. To match, she worked with Cartier and Roger Guillochon to design a collection of feline-inspired jewelry that was later sold by Sotheby’s for $1 million.

Despite her undeniable flair (and her role in helping expose Alec’s shady dealings), Wildenstein is largely mocked by the press and the public for her surgery, which she said her ex-husband exaggerated and painted as the reason for their divorce.

As we collectively reconsider our treatment of female celebrities (i.e. Britney Spears, Megan Fox, and Lindsay Lohan), Wildenstein’s upcoming appearance at Balenciaga could mark a comeback of sorts.

After all, Gvasalia’s reign at Balenciaga has attuned our palettes to unconventional beauty — and no one looks quite like the 81-year-old Wildenstein.

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