Alexis Stone on Her Epic Transformation Into Jocelyn Wildenstein

Alexis Stone on Her Epic Transformation Into Jocelyn Wildenstein

You never know which surprise guest you're gonna see at a Balenciaga show these days thanks to Alexis Stone, who's transformed into everyone from Dolly Parton to Mrs. Doubtfire while sitting front row.

This season, for Balenciaga's 2022 Haute Couture show, the London-based drag artist turned into Jocelyn Wildenstein, the American socialite known for her cosmetic procedures and catlike appearance.

Clad in a leopard-print catsuit and baggy textured coat, Stone turned heads as she entered the couture salons looking every bit as extravagant as Wildenstein herself, a character she and Balenciaga's creative director agreed upon previously.

"Demna is familiar with my previous bulks of work," she tells PAPER. "We had a conversation in New York after the show and decided it was time to revamp my homage to Jocelyn, a powerful woman I have admired and made nods towards throughout my work for years."

With tons of celebs on and off the runway for this outing, and Wildenstein's history as a big couture client, Stone's transformation decision was a no-brainer. "Jocelyn is a fashion icon and historically one of the largest buyers for Chanel Haute Couture working directly with Karl over the last 30 years," she explains.

The two have a very close relationship — Stone calls her "mother" and says they they talk frequently. ("We have a deep understanding, love and respect for one another," she says.)

Like all her fashion transformations, she describes the Wildenstein outing as a labor of love. Still, "the pressure to pay homage while making it technically possible with the limitations that come with practicality was a concern," she says. "But doing a respectful, slightly warped transformation is fitting in my work while sharing unconditional love towards someone I admire deeply."

As for the Balenciaga couture show that just wrapped ("It smelled like money," she says of the room), she had nothing but high remarks.

"Every time I attend the shows its a sensory overload," she says. "It's such a creative and forward-thinking brand that the emotions and feelings after are always incredible highs as it's shared with like-minded people. [It's] bonkers, bizarre — no one else is doing it but it feels appropriate and appreciated."

Photography: Perrine Mercier