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Paris Fashion Week: At Balenciaga, a burst of Modernism

October 1, 2009 |  4:27 pm
BalenciagaAt Balenciaga, a burst of Modernism. Nicolas Ghesquiere was ahead of the curve last season with his feminine print dresses, lace bandeaus, and swagged silk skirts in boudoir pales. So now that everyone else is feeling romantic for spring, naturally he's moved on.

"I wanted something urban and graphic," the designer said backstage. "Collages of natural and synthetic materials, almost like toys."

Ghesquiere combined leather and coarse linen with synthetic plastics, blurring the lines between real and fake, new and old, couture and mass. I like to imagine him in art class with a pair of scissors, colored paper and glue, cutting and pasting the clothes. And indeed, there was a two dimensionality to this collection, as if Ghesquiere had put it together on paper dolls.

Motocross-inspired looks were the first to come out--hooded vests pieced together from leather, textured jersey and chain mail, worn with skin tight leather leggings tucked into what are sure to be the extreme footwear of the season--short booties with shafts covered in metal hardware.

Next up were skirts with haphazardly placed sheer and pleated panels, and a handful of snug-fitting, extremely covetable leather jackets. Short dresses appeared as collages of shiny, matte and transparent pieces. But the highlight was a group of Naugahyde-like miniskirts painted in broad strokes, worn with crisp white sleeveless shirts slit open to reveal flashes of color, that made you sit back and wonder, how did he do that?

-- Booth Moore

Photos: Balenciaga's Spring-Summer 2010 runway

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Photo: Balenciaga Spring-Summer 2010 runway. Photo credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times
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