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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.

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Blockbuster Beauties

May 25th, 2012 |Posted by Janelle

Actresses keep showing up in campaigns so it is about time that catwalkers took over the silver screen. Some of summer’s biggest films feature appearances by familiar fashion favorites – Erin Wasson, Brooklyn Decker, Lily Cole & Liberty Ross all show up in this summer’s mega-movies, but which will you actually watch? Click to vote on Facebook.

ERIN WASSON - Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

The vampy Ms. Wasson plays what else, a vampire seductress in Timur Bekmambetov’s adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel. Judging from the red band trailer this is going to be an over the top gore-fest filled with special effects and historical inaccuracies. As a fashionable renaissance woman, Erin has done everything from styling to designing jewelry over the years, but this is her first real acting gig. Unless you count her cameo in Sofia Coppola’s film, Somewhere.

BROOKLYN DECKER – Battleship & What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Over the past year Brooklyn has successfully transformed herself from America’s favorite blonde modeling bombshell, into a promising actress. She shows up in two films this summer – Board game explosion-fest, Battleship and pregnancy ensemble comedy, What to Expect. Considering that we’ve already made our Channing Tatum based film selection for the year (Magic Mike, TYVM) we choose to watch Brooklyn’s talents in the latter movie.

LIBERTY ROSS & LILY COLE - Snow White & The Huntsman

Sure it is Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron‘s show, but the beautiful Liberty Ross and Lily Cole play pivotal roles in the upcoming, epic re-imagining of the fairy tale. Liberty plays the mother of the titular character, while Lily gets her soul extracted by the demonic-queen. Of all the non-Avengers popcorn flicks out this year this is probably the one we’re most excited for. Bonus bit of trivia – did you know the film was directed by Liberty’s hubby, the talented Rupert Sanders. Take a look at her behind the scenes diary of the process leading up to the films & behind the scenes of the premiere.

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