Inevitably, Nicolas Ghesquière's menswear doesn't have the same silhouette-warping, cliché-zapping impact of his women's clothes for Balenciaga. What mere male customer could possibly absorb such a force? But there was still a game attempt to fuse classicism and rock 'n' roll spirit in this latest collection.
The classic references were obvious in a crested seersucker blazer, in the use of madras, and in the printed tie silks used in fluid little shirts. The silk radzimir of a dinner jacket even referred back to Cristobal Balenciaga. But then there was the Mick Jagger-inspired T-shirt rippling with latex flames, the skinny leather pants, and the hippie shirt with its heraldic lion.
Small wonder the collection ended up with something of a split personality, though that could be said to dovetail with one of the collection's other underlying themes: the idea of travel. Safari and military influences united with the pop and the trad to equip the Balenciaga traveler for any situation.