For pre-fall, Nicolas Ghesquière went back to "the era when France decided to be modern, the late seventies and the early eighties." Indeed, this collection embraced colors and prints not seen since the heyday of the synthesizer. But thanks to new high-tech fabrics and exaggerated silhouettes, the strongest pieces avoided the retro pitfall. Among the highlights were the cool teddy boy jackets. Patchworks of animal print, silk, and treated cotton, they were shown with a poplin smock top and turquoise track pants or thrown over an A-line minidress, opaque tights, and ankle booties.

The time period also saw the advent of a new corporate woman, so tailoring played a key role here. Oversize trenches echoed not only the eighties, but also the experimental volumes and proportions that Ghesquière used on the dresses that closed his fantastic Spring show. A sharp blazer belted at the waist above a waxy silk peplum likewise had a twenty-first-century sense of cool. On the accessories front, Balenciaga is getting behind big earrings in a big way, but the boxy new bags were stripped of all excesses.