Balenciaga ALIVE!

This is the first of our many series of blog entries from guest editors.
And in this first entry, our guest editor, Yen Wong, a fashion enthusiast, has this to say of Balenciaga F/W08:

For the past few seasons, Nicolas Ghesquiere has received raving reviews from critics as well as fashion enthusiasts like me. He first struck me when he sent the models down the runway of Balenciaga F/W 06 in horse riding chic. Since then, he has never failed to awe his audiences.

This year, the F/W collection for Balenciaga rekindles this instant reconnection of the fashion house rich history to its future blueprint. Cristobal Balenciaga’s signature workmanship and dramatic silhouette, once again came to life under the hands of Nicolas. With his talent, Nicolas continues to propel this house on the most exciting journey ever. This collection’s austere direction is added with a hint of Spanish drama that conincidentally relates to its roots. The experimental approach of mixing sci-fi material e.g. latex and plastics with the classic elements of it’s history has resulted in a collection of wearable art pieces. Personally I would call them “Archi-fashion”. The structural silhouette, unique drafting, alloy of contrasting fabrics resembles the art of constructing a architectural project but on a smaller scale.
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Alloy of Contrasting Materials

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Structural and Dramatic Silhouette

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Nicolas remodels this stereotypical image of a LDB (little black dress) by adding high slits and theatrical frills. At first sight, it makes you reminisce the futuristic S/S07 collection. But examining it only makes you realize how tactful Nicolas is in his vision to reconnect this collection with the brand’s heritage. This is how Balenciaga evolves and stays relevant to its new environment and audiences after so many years.
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Antique Balenciaga Gown

The choice of latex and plastic for the tunic coat is definitely a breath taking work of art. If there is going to be a Frank Gehry in the realm of fashion, Nicolas is undeniably the one. The curved shoulders for the jackets, geometrically positioned slits on the skirts, symmetric collar details and structural drafting constitute the aesthetic elements for this collection. Interestingly enough, there is a contrasting element for this season. Nicolas uses draping to highlight a softer side of a Balenciaga woman. The draping fabric juxtaposes with the choice of colours and its texture, mimicking a water feature of an architectural piece.
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Curvy Shoulder for the Jacket

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Prints have always been part of the highlights of Nicolas’ work. This year Spring, we have seen the most vibrant flora prints ever presented. Fall this year, Nicholas adopted a rather vintage looking design, once again adding contrasting elements. From far, it reminds you of the medieval era, but in close you could actually spot a Chinese woman playing the flute.
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Prints

If this is the first time you have seen Nicolas’s work, then the more you ought to look at his work for this fashion house. He is truly a genius that revives Balenciaga and creating a revolutionary change to the industry.

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Love the man.

(Photos courtesy of Style.com)

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