While many are getting caught up on the Alexander-Wang-at-Balenciaga business (questions have arisen as to how Wang’s youthful and street aesthetic will resonate with a house that is the epitome of high fashion), I would like to focus first on Nicolas Ghesquiere’s last collection for the house. Having just attended a presentation of the Balenciaga spring 2013 collection where I got to see the clothes and accessories up close.
Ruffles figure prominently in Ghesquiere’s collection, flamenco style immediately comes to mind, perhaps owing to the Spanish heritage of the label. But Ghesquiere’s ruffles have a bit more structure and they look architectural in black and white. Ruffled skirts are paired with origami-like tops, playing on the hard-soft theme. Ghesquiere is a master at introducing new techniques and new ways of constructing clothes. Thus, there are clothes that look like tweed when they are actually the result of hand embroidery and distressing. A top with perforation detail looks like leather from afar but up close you realize it is constructed by bonding different techniques together. A lace blouse is given shape because of a lacquer technique.
On the accessories front, there’s the iconic City bag plus the new shape that looks like a bucket. Shoes come with block heels made of wood and metal, both give a nod to a masculine-feminine aesthetic. There is a set of 10 rings, one for each finger. There are gold tiaras too.
For men, the collection is largely in black, white and grey punctuated by electric red. The jackets though slim are elongated and the trousers are mostly pleated. There is handsome very light grey leather jacket with biker details. The coats are oversized referencing their Japanese influence. There is a flower printed shirt also inspired by Japanese menswear from the 70s.
View a recap of Nicolas Ghesquiere’s greatest hits at his 15 years at Balenciaga here.
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