Blog Archives

Balenciaga Moments

November 5th, 2012 |Posted by Janelle

Nicolas Ghesquiere by Steven Meisel

We were shocked and a bit saddened today to hear of Nicolas Ghesquiere‘s departure from Balenciaga. After 15 years at the legendary house, Ghesquiere is parting ways with the luxury powerhouse, a label he helped become one of the most influential and respected in the business. Though we know this is likely the start of an exciting new beginning (let the rumors begin) we can’t help but look back at a few of our absolute favorite Balenciaga moments, from the very first collection to those infamous leggings. Take a look at our favorites and let us know yours in the comments.


THE REVIVAL

In 2012 it seems like there are new designers shuffling in to breathe life into old houses every few months, that wasn’t so much the case back in 1997. At 25 after assisting designers like Jean Paul Gaultier and paying his dues behind the scenes at several brands, Ghesquière came to Balenciaga to design for the brand’s Japanese licensing partner. Hardly the most glamourous gig – but his talent was evident and soon he found himself creative director of a brand that had yet to rediscover its footing. His first show back in S/S 98 changed all that, with a darkly chic update on the brand’s identity that made the fashion press stand up and take notice. View the collection in full for yourself at Balenciaga.com.


THE BAG

Seasonal styles of the popular Balenciaga bags

It bags come and go, but modern classics are very rare indeed. Ghesquière knocked the ball out of the park when he launched Balenciaga’s Lariat bag in 2000, the oft imitated but never duplicated style has been seen on the arm of everyone from Mary-Kate Olsen to Carine Roitfeld and is still going strong.


THE GAINSBOURG CONNECTION

Nicolas Ghesquiere and Charlotte Gainsbourg by Jean Paul Goude for Harper’s Bazaar

Twilight cutie Kristen Stewart may be the latest actress to catch Ghesquière’s eye, but the original Balenciaga-fille has got to be Charlotte Gainsbourg, a woman whose idiosyncratic beauty and avant-garde career choices mirror the spirit of Ghesquière’s boundary breaking aesthetic. Serving as both muse and face of the line’s signature fragrances, Gainsbourg is a fixture in the Balenciaga front row and in the brand’s iconography.


THE FLOWERS

Jennifer Connolly for Balenciaga S/S 08 by David Sims

It is hard to go back through Ghesquière’s 15 years at Balenciaga and pick the most memorable collections, each collection has its own merits but there are a few that take on special significance. S/S 2008’s floral explosion remains one of the most daring and influential, just when we thought we knew what to expect we got hit with a strong dose of flower power. Reactions to the collection may have been divisive, but it jumpstarted the current craze for bold, head-to-toe print and has been replicated by everyone from H&M to Celine.


THE ARCHIVES


Cristobal Balenciaga Cape, 1963 – Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere F/W 2006 cape on Coco Rocha

Every designer working at a storied house has access to a wealth of archival inspiration, but only a select few put it to good use. Ghesquière was always adept at taking Cristobal’s shapes and points of reference, then modernizing them, either with subtle changes or grand re imaginings. Take a look at how Cristóbal’s 1963 cape compared to the oversized brocade cape from the F/W 06 show.


MOD MOMENTUM

Freja Beha Erichsen for Balenciaga F/W 05 by David Sims

Sixties style mod looks often found a place on Ghesquière’s runways and made for some of the most memorable looks; who can forget the mod touches in the F/W 05 and F/W 06 collections?


MARIE AMELIE

Marie Amelie’s interpretation of Balenciaga in Strict Elegance from Interview – Ph. Craig McDean

As much as we love Nicolas’ work, all the credit for Balenciaga’s longstanding cultural impact can’t rest solely on his shoulders. As the brand’s stylist, muse and loyal supporter, Marie-Amélie Sauvé has shaped the Balenciaga look for years on the runway and in numerous editorials. Some of our favorite Balenciaga moments occurred while looking at her artful and creative interpretations of that look in the pages of magazines like Interview and Vogue Paris.


i-ROBOT

Kate Moss by Sølve Sundsbø for Numero Tokyo‘s inaugural issue.

Perhaps the singularly most infamous pair of leggings in history and certainly one of the most iconic Balenciaga pieces of all time. How many leggings find their way onto the bodies of Terence Koh, Kate Moss and Beyoncé Knowles? Not to mention the omnipresent place these leggings held in fashion edits for nearly a year. We love it when Balenciaga goes on a sci-fi streak!


THE GIRLS 

Balenciaga S/S 2002 by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

Every season we’ve looked forward to see which beauties would be featured in the Balenciaga campaign and to date we’ve yet to be disappointed. Whether it is a bonafide supermodel like Gisele Bundchen, or Christy Turlington or a fresh crop of brand new faces, Balenciaga always goes for the unexpected and remains one of the few brands whose campaigns can really launch a compelling face.


THE COPYCATS

The one thing we’ll miss most about Ghesquire at Balenciaga is his ability to kickstart a design trend. There are whole websites devoted to looks cribbed from Balenciaga and while all designers get inspired by each other every now and then it was always amusing to see who was drawing inspiration from Ghesquire.


THE EDITORIALS

There were and are so many great editorial images that involved Balenciaga, but we’ll end on this great shot of Gemma Ward by Nick Knight for Pop Magazine.

Posted in: General news

Just Kids

January 17th, 2012 |Posted by Janelle

If a campaign is the visual representation of a house’s current mood, what are Balenciaga‘s S/S ads saying about the storied label? Captivating new faces Laura Kampman, Juliane Grüner, Rosie Tapner & Kirstin Liljegren star in Steven Meisel‘s images as a rag-tag bunch of girls gone grunge. The inspiration? None other than the legendary Patti Smith – take a look at her personal photos from the book Just Kids, to see where the campaign gets its spirit. The look is recreated with bedhead courtesy of Guido Palau, smoky makeup by Pat McGrath and Marie-Amélie Sauvé‘s artful styling. A dilapidated hotel room and those larger than life accessories from the spring collection also play a pivotal role.

Patti Smith and Sam Shepard

Posted in: General news

Air Jourdan

August 17th, 2011 |Posted by Janelle

Jourdan Dunn.
David Sims.
Marie-Amélie Sauvé.
The dream team unites for a spirited American Vogue studio shoot that showcases the season’s best in utility dressing.

Posted in: General news

Punk Spirit

August 8th, 2011 |Posted by Janelle

Fabien Baron.
Marie-Amélie Sauvé.
Karmen Pedaru.

A team of fashion’s most innovative talents join forces for Interview‘s stylish take on the season’s tough, punk inspired looks. Aaron de Mey and Eugene Souleiman transform Karmen into a rebel with hair and makeup, but the devil may care attitude that makes the story is all her own.

Posted in: General news

Always A Lady

July 18th, 2011 |Posted by Janelle

Vogue Russia has never shied away from all out glamour: the often ostentatious looks that grace their pages offer a taste of maximalism, but August’s cover story with Daria Strokous takes a subtler approach. The luxurious details are all there in Mariano Vivanco‘s images: gold jewelry, oversized hats, ornate furs yet Ekaterina Mukhina‘s styling looks effortless. Andrey Zakharov joins Daria for a little one on one and they make for an ultra-cool couple.

Posted in: General news

En Vogue

July 18th, 2011 |Posted by Janelle

No offense to cover girl Sarah Jessica Parker, but we like our American Vogue best when it focuses on models. Steven Meisel‘s winning feature in the August edition is a good example of why: featuring 10 of the best girls working, styled to the nines by Marie-Amélie Sauvé, the studio shoot is a gorgeous showcase for the best seasonal wares; a Celine blouse worn with a Fendi fur and a Dries skirt – pretty impressive combo.

The mix of favorite faces is also serves as a great way to illustrate issue’s Age theme. Kristen McMenamy, Karen Elson, and Audrey Marnay join newbies like Anais Pouliot and Fei Fei Sun and each shot looks great. That said, the range of ages could be even greater – wouldn’t it have been nice if Vogue had pushed the casting mix one step further and included Carmen dell’Orefice?

MODELS Raquel Zimmermann, Liya Kebede, Candice Swanepoel, Miranda Kerr, Guinevere Van Seenus, Karen Elson, Fei Fei Sun, Anais Pouliot, Arizona Muse, Kristen McMenamy & Audrey Marnay

HAIR Guido Palau | MAKEUP Pat McGrath | SET DESIGN Mary Howard

Posted in: General news

On the Edge

April 26th, 2011 |Posted by Janelle

Craig McDean takes Anne Catherine Lacroix to the next level with a phenomenal story in Interview, styled by Marie-Amélie Sauvé. Sporting jet black hair and a series of avant garde outfits, Anne-Catherine looks as fresh as ever; those cheekbones could cut glass!

Posted in: General news

In the Pink

February 24th, 2011 |Posted by Janelle

Craig McDean and Marie-Amélie Sauvé know a thing or two about cool, so it is no wonder that their technicolor story for Interview features some of fashion’s cutting edge beauties. The pink haired sensation Charlotte Free leads a cast that includes Sasha Pivovarova, Eliza Cummings, Kasia Struss and Suvi Koponen wearing kaledescopic creations from Balenciaga and Lanvin.

Posted in: General news

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