it takes the genius of someone like nicholas ghesquiere to take cristobal balenciaga's gargantuan past and take it to a galaxy far far away. ever since he took the reigns as creative director of the house, ghesquiere has always managed to inject a form of sci-fi/futuristic approach to one of fashion's most revered houses. not an easy feat considering balenciaga is basically deified as the greatest master of haute couture. so how does someone like ghesquiere, who is from a totally different generation, absent of any of balenciaga's spanish roots, and working through the means of pret-a-porter and not couture be able to time and time again find the seemingly impossible balance of translating the vocabulary of the house into a language that is so fluidly elucidated in modern tongue? perhaps it is ghesquiere's cosmic destiny to be the dictionary of the balenciaga language for the twentyfirst century. because regardless of how experimental and forward ghesquiere's approach to design is, at the very core, they are still based on balenciaga's principles. take for instance the traditional balenciaga notion of tension and release. exemplified by the opening dresses were jersey was pleated to act as a corset pulling the top half of the dress close to the body while the bottom half moved away from it. it might have been based on an old hallmark of the house, but here it was done in such a modern way. everything about this collection didn't feel like it obviously referenced the past. which is a rarity these days when other designers are scrambbling for ideas by looking back, ghesquiere appears one of the extremely rare few who are looking towards the future. while the styling, and the space-age footwear courtesy of pierre hardy might appear to be too far ahead of its time for this moment, in actually it wasn't. retailers can see past all that and didn't need the little clutch that came with every look whose purpose was to bring the look down to earth to realize that these clothes although might not possess the most mass market appeal, it is specific to a type of woman who has the confidence to be able to carry the clothes and not look like a throwback of sixties cardin or courreges. the woman who wears balenciaga is independant, modern, and one who appreciates the technical ingenuity of the garment she is wearing. because just like the old master himself, it is always the challenge of construction that drives ghesquiere's creative process. and it is his passion for his craft and his unyielding vision to move the house forward that makes him one of the most influential artist of this generation.