March 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Balenciaga’s gone corporate. And while normally those words would inspire a sense of dread in me, it would seem that for those of us who baulk at the thought of donning the suit and tie, Ghesquière’s fictional corporation is the place to be. Sartorially speaking at least.

The show took place 27 floors up a Paris skyscraper, the space tweaked by Ghesquière’s longtime collaborator, artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, to the designers exacting specifications. The view of Paris would have been panoramic (I assume, would have been nice to be there in person) and set the stage for one of the houses best collections to date.

The models were employees (figuratively as well as literally), and paraded an outfit for every office stereotype, from sic-fi inspired prints on stiff satin sweatshirts for the IT crowd, to the leopard print that looked like drips of liquid metal (padded appliqué of gold lame jersey) on jackets and dresses fit for a high powered executive. Ghesquière created a strong, almost 80’s shape, in bonded leather coats and stiff layered A-line skirts, his emphasis on the shoulders reminiscent in some ways of vintage Mugler (before Formachetti dumped his distinct “vision” on the house).

One of the key elements to the success of Balenciaga in recent years has been Ghesquière’s ability to take items that would traditionally fall into the realms of bad taste (parachute pants?) and making them desirable, through both ingenious design and continuos research and experimentation with fabrication. It seems likely that he has achieved this again, and there are more than a couple of items in this collection destined for cult status.


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