Snob Essentials

Balenciaga Spring 2011


The seventies isn’t the only recurring theme on the spring runways. A masculine take on femininity has been wafting its way through Milan and now Paris, and at Balenciaga Nicolas Ghesquière went that exact route–albeit toned down somewhat to what he called a “boyish” aesthetic. Putting Balenciaga back in touch with the street, the results were a fresh twist on a typical man’s wardrobe, which he showed on a handful of bold-faced supermodels–Gisele, Carolyn, Amber, Miranda and Stella–not to mention off-the-street girls he personally scouted and cast into one of a series of “band” stereotypes (rocker, punk, goth, etc.). Layered and futuristic, the looks worked–although, at times, they were not what they seemed. Some shirts had no backs, short coats sported an explosion of tweed and studs were omnipresent. The houndstooth coats, although based on a silk column dress from 1965, were updated with an embroidered faux leather surface (much of it molded and lacquered). It may have seemed a lot to absorb, but broken down they were beautiful: biker vests, sequined dresses, high-waisted baggy black pants and a chic black and grey cardigan. It was Nicolas’ take on menswear–done with aplomb.




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