The 2010s / Nicolas Ghesquière’s AW12 for Balenciaga

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Believe it or not – I can’t! – but we’re heading towards a new millenium. So, how do you choose the most important collections, designers and labels of the decade? The ones that made an actual impact in the 2010s? Well, it’s not an easy task. It all began in September 2009 with New York’s spring-summer 2010 shows and ended when the autumn-winter 2019 haute couture shows wrapped in Paris. Few thousands of shows, by the way. There will be 19 posts (that’s really the only possible minimum!) reminding about the best – and if not the best, then strongly influencing – moments in fashion.

Nicolas Ghesquière‘s AW12 collection for Balenciaga – “Join A Weird Trip“!

Nicolas Ghesquière’s time at Balencaga defined the 2000s and the first years of 2010s. And his autumn-winter 2012 collection is one of the greats. The corporate spies and outer-space agents on fluorescent-lit runway: that’s a fashion moment you just can’t forget. The designer moved the fashion conversation along  in a few different ways with this line-up: by proposing new silhouettes with exaggerated, even challenging proportions (bonded leather coats with shoulders out to there, sculptural padded sweaters over stiff A-line skirts with doubled front panels); by deliberately trafficking in items of “questionable” taste (those black satin sweatshirts with spacey slogans like “JOIN A WEIRD TRIP” and “OUT OF THE BLUE” are today the ultimate collector item!); and by continuing to emphasize fabric research. The IT girls wore jumpsuits made from a hi-tech parachute material, and his animal prints came two ways—as a jacquard snake on the wool bodices of the office rebels’ strapless dresses and as leopard spots that looked like liquid mercury on the executives’ jackets. Incredible. Of course, to be honest with you, any Balenciaga collection by Ghesquière is a favourite, so here’s a brief recap of the best moments starting from 2010:

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SS12, AW11 and SS13.

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SS10, SS11 and AW10.

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AW12, SS11 and AW10.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

 

The Statements Pieces. Balenciaga Resort 2020

Balenciaga released its resort 2020 look-book just in time when the clothes start to hit the stores. Demna Gvasalia‘s pre-collections for the maison aren’t as spectacular as the main shows (the spring-summer 2020 collection we’ve seen last month was one of his best to date!), but they sum up the label’s statement pieces: Balenciaga wardrobe “basics” (like tailoring with Cristobal Balenciaga’s couture volumes), the best-selling apparel and key bags. What else? Outsize parkas with their cheekbone-grazing collars, easy-wearing printed tea dresses in souvenir prints, XXL pajama sets… all this in the least matching colours you can imagine. But somehow, everything works together more than well. The look-book-opening coat is stamped with the Balenciaga logo in the familiar block print, but even without it one can identify the sloping shoulders, buttoned collar, and boxy, exaggerated fit as signature Gvasalia. And what’s my personal favourite from the line-up? The leather blouson-jacket in bold green, as pictured above.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.