Wednesday, February 27, 2008

paris - balenciaga - fall/winter 2008

when cristobal balenciaga retired in 1968 at the ripe old age of 73 he said: "i regret not being younger, as i would create amusing but tasteful ready-to-wear as the times we live in demand. for me it is too late". fortunately for balenciaga, his wish is being realized by his successor nicolas ghesquiere. always true to the spirit of the house, the young designer has for the past few years seem to fully merge the aesthetic of balenciaga with one of the most foward thinking approach. he has been able to take the classic couture cuts invented by the old master and infuse it with his own ideology and make it adaptable to the twentyfirst century. of all the collections he has done for the house, this was perhaps the collection that was the most true to the balenciaga legacy. of course there was the fall/winter collection a couple of years back when each look was based on creations balenciaga himself designed, these clothes however was pure ghesquiere speaking through balenciaga's tongue. he opened the show with black architecturally construced dresses that gave a hint to balenciaga's spanish roots with its deep rich black and minute folds reminiscent of flamenco ruffles. all worn with costume jewelry that accesorized every single outfit that followed. perhaps a continuation of the "complete ensemble" idea he proposed last spring? from then it moved to jackets and coats with a turtle back silhouette. some came in shiny techno fabrics that ghesquiere has always been so fond of. and although the cut of these clothes are classic, the fabric injects it with a modern edge that prevents it from looking irrelevant. as always, one expects to see innovative fabrication in balenciaga, and this season was no exeption. there were knee leght body conscious dresses with hand-painted chinoserie motif on leather and latex. lush velvet that criss crossed in a loose drape worn with skinny grey wool pants. and as always, show stopping shoes courtesy of pierre hardy. this time around, the gladiator boots was replaced by over the knee and ankle bootie that looked like icebergs with crystal like formations forming at the back heel of the shoe. the ideas presented in this collection was so prolific that in a hand that is not as confident as ghesquiere could've been an utter failure. however, ghesquiere's passion for designing and the deep respect he has for the history of the house propels the label at the forefront for yet another season. achieving ready-to-wear that is both tasteful and so, very deliciously amusing.


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