Balenciaga Pre-Fall 2011


The Balenciaga pre-fall show took a big leap away from the "teddy boy-meets-punk masculinity" spring show into somewhat unfamiliar territory: ladylike looks. Nicholas Ghesquière's influences for the beautiful collection came, again, from archival Balenciaga looks which were most evident in the coats that were so reminiscent of those designed by Cristobal himself. This influence could also be seen in some of the prints, most notably the faded, brushstroke plaid or large faded leopard, that were clearly modernized versions of designs from a past era. Also, the peplum belts, which were apparently "an integral element...of Cristobal's signature volumes," were made of leather and were worn on the hips as opposed to the waist with true Ghesquière-Balenciaga edge. Another influence for the collection was India, which showed up in some prints toward the beginning of the collection and, in my opinion, in some of the layering. There's a very distinct style of layering that Indian women have which was evident in some of the looks featuring the oriental prints (like the first look on the left above). All in all, the collection was the most consumer friendly one I've ever seen from Ghesquière, with street-ready aspects like some very wearable cross-body bags, one fantastically kitsch German Shepard sweater, and even tennis shoes. Despite the lack of cohesion throughout the show, I'm going to go ahead and say bravo to Ghesquière. It must be difficult to create such a down-to-earth collection when your influences usually come from science fiction.


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