Balenciaga and wearable are terms that are often at odds with one another. Though the label has become one of the most influential in fashion it is not known for being especially forgiving or even accessible. The further Nicolas Ghesquière pushes the envelope the more he is adored yet as he moves from one unweildy trend to the next the age old notion of pragmatism rears its head. Though innovation is a virtue the balance between museum pieces and wearable art is a fine one.
Pre-fall (and it’s jet set cousin Resort) offer designers a chance to build on the brand’s aesthetic in a way that is often quieter. The collections are smaller, there is less pressure to make a dramatic statement and the clothing is typically more wearable. For a brand like Balenciaga (Balenciaga Pre-Fall 09 Slideshow) these kinds of freedoms offer an opportunity to create a considerably more relaxed breed of elegance.
The mood of Balenciaga pre-fall is decidedly chic. If there is a running motif it’s fur – almost every look contains some bit of fur either as the commanding piece or as an accent. Whether or not this move is appealing will depend highly on ones politics but it’s an interesting move nonetheless for a house known more for it’s use of latex than exotic skins.
Materials aside the shapes offered are pleasant – the drop crotch pants and skinny jeans will no doubt be fashion editor favorites. An it-bag in the making rears it’s head via the oddly appealing shapeless leather saks – trash bags haven’t been this chic since Chanel’s Coco Cabas. Surprisingly frothy skirts and baggy dresses are the primary standouts but a pair of truly alluring dresses make their presence felt. Most notably a just below the knee evening dress with all the ruching a girl could ever dream of. The kicker on this piece of girly finery? Placing it on Kinga Rajzak with lethal motorcycle boots and heaps of attitude.