Balenciaga Resort 2011 Collection
Nicolas Ghesquière invariably shows off a singularly focused vision at his Balenciaga runway shows in Paris. Resort, in contrast, is often a time for him to work through several disparate ideas. This year, the list includes uniforms, utility wear, and something he’s calling techno bohème. Among the collection’s 29 looks, the uniforms owed the biggest debt to Cristobal Balenciaga, inspired as they were by the outfits the master designed for airlines. Stretch fabrics and magnetic closures aside, there was something distinctly 1960’s Pan Am hostess about a fitted and very short blue skirtsuit. Meanwhile, Ghesquière made his country-hippie blouses, long and full skirts, and tiny bolero vests modern, futuristic even, by rendering them in iridescent fabrics and embroidering them with metallic threads. The Edition pieces, reissues of archival Cristobal creations tweaked for the twenty-first century, are the perfect metaphor for the house’s backward-forward approach this season. The highlight was a sari-like column gown circa 1961 in a particular shade of grass green. It apparently took Ghesquière several years of research to locate that number, and the effort paid dividends—A-list redhead Nicole Kidman should call dibs stat.