Thursday, March 11, 2010

Let's Talk Shop

    The month long, international style extravaganza know has Fashion Week is finally wrapping up....thank God! I love fashion, but by week 3, I'm hitting critical mass. There's just sooooooo much stuff out there - everyone and their dog thinks they're a designer (I'm looking at you, Kim Kardashian). I'm all for 'Fashion for the People!', but at a certain point, if you don't have anything interesting to say, you should just stop talking and leave it to the Pros.

 Ahhhhhhhhhh..........NOW we're talking!
     Riccardo Tisci turned out one of my favorite Givenchy collections to date for Fall 2010. Citing ski and surf culture as inspirations, Tisci injected the house's signature tailoring with sporty playfulness. The silhouettes were modern - sharply tailored trousers, cropped jackets, body hugging knits and thigh grazing hems. 

       Fair Isle sweaters cut to looks like scuba suits - What a great marriage of references. Now if you could actually get people to dress like this in Vail's like Ugg boot city over there.

     The clothing is inspired, without being too specific. You understand the surf reference in the knit bodysuit, but it's made accessible by its pairing with a beautifully cut pant. The suit and coat look in the second image appears to be cut from neoprene (what did I tell you!....see Dolce and Gabbana), and it's still a modern wearable suit. In the end, he makes great pieces that so many women can wear.

The zip-and-fold pant seems to be a trend this season, as you'll see later.

Sexy Lederhosen?

     Tisci also gives us some enviable, sexy eveningwear. It is modern, lush, and sensual and completely wearable (well, maybe not the lederhosen). I could see Zoe Saldana wearing either of those top 2 looks to a film premier or party, especially since she's such a Givenchy fan....

Zoe Saldana in Givenchy Couture (Spring 2010) at the Academy Awards

     Balenciaga has come to be acknowledged as one of the most boundary pushing, trend setting collections in designer fashion. Since Nicolas Ghesquiere took the helm in 1997, he has revived the storied brand, making it as relevant and influential as it was in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Known for his futuristic-looking styles, Ghesquiere re-invents the sculptural shapes found in Balenciaga's archives for the modern woman.

    Ghesquiere cited packing materials and 'domesticity' as points of inspiration for Fall 2010. Even though the silhouette is current and modern, I can certainly see a reference to 50s - 60s American suburban housewives in the cropped pants, jackets and knitwear. I wonder if he watches Mad Men...?

Note the fold-down waist, which also appeared at Givenchy.

     Padding, quilting, newspaper prints.....all recall packing materials. Ghesquiere has played with the idea of protection, shelter and armor in previous collections; cardboard and bubble wrap turn out to be elegant variations on this theme. as 'people packaging'......hmmmmmmm....

These last 2 dresses remind me of paper chains my sister and I would make from newspaper.

From afar, it could have been braided or macrame, but padded stars?!?!

     And of course, Ghesquiere displayed his amazing ability to imagine the most interesting textiles, many of which play into the packaging theme - laser cutting and repeating appliques remind me of elaborate packing shreds.....

Laser Cut Suede?

Quilting and applique too

Lace applique? 

Quilted embroidery
     Even the shoes were given the  'ready-to-ship' treatment, encased in molded plastic and wood chunks.

Shin guards! Cage toe! The Balenciaga woman is outfitted to take on the world!

     One of the things I love most about this collection is the way Nicolas Ghesquiere brought together all of his influences - his fingerprints are all over it. You've got the urban warrior concept present in rounded shoulder puff jackets and cage toe shoes. Classic Balenciaga tailoring is shown in cropped jackets and pants, referencing their 1950s origin. Color blocked prints and braided-looking textiles bring in a tribal vibe. And newspaper prints and sketch-y graphics add in a street style reference, as well as the 'shin guards' on some of the shoes, which remind me of the tongue of a high-top sneaker. Furthermore, Ghesquiere used a decidedly spring-y pastel color palate for this fall collection, something I haven't noticed from any other designer this season......I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing a lot more color in stores come August. 
     Altogether, this collection has beautiful tailoring for the working woman, concept and perspective to be appreciated by the artsy crowd, enough cool for the young and hip (granted they have sizeable trust funds), and presumably a Balenciaga label, which, if Ghesquiere keeps turning out stuff like this, is enough to satisfy the fashion crowd. 


No comments:

Post a Comment