The 26 looks that Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière showed here today
at the Gagosian Gallery will be more scrutinized than Enron's balance sheet.
That's because Ghesquière has become one of fashion's magnate designers, able
to change the look of a season with one outfit. Moving his Fall show to New
York from Paris added a significant jolt to fashion week, increased by the
fact that getting one of the 200 tickets was well-nigh impossible.
But well worth the effort. In front of an audience that included both
fashion maven Sarah Jessica Parker and Domenico de Sole, president and CEO
of Balenciaga parent Gucci Group, Ghesquière breezed confidently through a
collection that was
inventive, originaland commercially viable. The all-black opening was
tough-girl chic: variations on the motorcycle jacket, with exaggerated knit
collars and worn with skintight pants or tight, flippy skirts. He showed
soft, oversized sweaters and jackets, and a small group of colorful knee-length
collage dresses apparently influenced by Cubist paintings.
Ghesquière helped usher in fashion's current love of artisan craft, and
the dramatic, shaggy ivory coats that closed the show could double as soft
While some designers struggle to express one theme per season, Ghesquière's
dilemma seems to be how to control his bountiful creative flow.