The fashion world is in a frenzied meltdown with the news that after 15 years, Nicolas Ghesquiere, one of Paris’s most acclaimed designers is to leave Balenciaga, the house he has helped raise from a heritage brand to modern day icon.
Inventor of a new zeitgeist, Ghesquiere challenged the norm re what we expected from the haloed house, taking Cristobal’s heritage, shaking it to the core, adding a doze of couture punk and leather fringing.
The juxtaposition between the extreme modernity of Ghesquiere’s vision and the HQ at Balenciaga, Paris was striking. A maverick set loose in an 18th Century French landmark label right down to the baroque nature of the walls, floors, panelling and fireplaces. And then came Nicolas with his skinny school blazers, fringed lariat bags, biker jackets, cargo pants, gladiator sandals and fetishistic platform heels. Oh my.
Ghesquiere’s S/S’13 show received mixed feedback (in comparison with his roundly lauded A/W’12 show) – an amalgamation of pared back Celine type boxiness and clean lines with architectured, fetishistic, exposed skin midriffs, ruffle skirts, stiff to the line and unremitting, yet no-one can question Ghesquiere’s cut and vision for a new ‘Paris’ catwalk. All the talk may have been on Raf and Hedi but Ghesquiere kept on keeping on. And now….who knows?
The man known as ‘the change agent’ will be off to wreak his devastating talent on a new label. Who that is, is yet unannounced. As is the replacement (if there can be) at Balenciaga. We collectively hold our breaths.
Balenciaga S/S’13 catwalk images by courtesy of www.style.com