Balenciaga Spring 2009

Paris: At Balenciaga, Light Play
By Cathy Horyn
A super-thoughtful and technically interesting Balenciaga show this morning from Nicolas Ghesquière: very light, luminous and leaning again toward the futuristic. He opened with beige-pink jersey stretched and gathered over a kind of heart-shaped form on the bodices of mini dresses, followed by a more complex use of second-skin tops and matching tights for under many of the looks. Slim pants and tunic tops — in pink shades of beige and light gray — had quilting, almost like a moto-cross detail but more polished and delicate like couture.
Metallic fabrics that looked like leather were in fact silk, and silver and gold finale dresses — some with fringe and the beige-pink leotard idea — were made of tiny pieces of ribbon. The tights pulled over the shoes, with apparently an opening for the sole. Very interesting effect: it blanked out the shoes, or the talk of shoes. Ghesquière said the show was about absorbing and reflecting light. It was certainly absorbing and, at the same time, difficult to describe. By the way, he had a passage of male models in the show, in stiff dark suits without lapels and flicker of gold at the nearly closed neckline.

Submitted by Wayne

A thousand opinions will bubble up around Balenciaga SS09. Whether you found it good or bad it retained all the codes that makes Ghesquiere’s Balenciaga such a compelling proposal. At the precise time he could have chosen to feed the machine the familiar, Ghesquiere distorted the familiar into something uncomfortable. Which is great. The cake and the cake eaten too. The collection looked like a past Balenciaga collection thrown up against a fun house mirror, rippling and warping before your very eyes. The torqued fabric, an idea reflected in the extended gloves and the stockings over the shoes…a familiar styling trick yes, (see mid 90’s Margiela) …the shimmering palette the odd conjunction of textures…it was a intelligent way to mirror your expected themes.As for the menswear…I’d get into it, literally because it is so cult. “Not for everybody”…from a brand the scale of Balenciaga can seem like such an unfriendly position to take but you have to admire the honesty of that.

Natasha Poly

Shannan Click

Kasia Struss

Iselin Steiro

Laragh McCann