Nicolas Ghesquière showed one of the most original, refined collections of the season for Balenciaga.

At a moment when artless reinterpretations of the past seem to dominate the runways, his clothes stood out for their distinct originality. To be sure, there were strong '80s references, like sharp shoulders, punk-inspired fastenings on jackets and pegged baggy trousers; but the looks were constructed with a freshness that had nothing to do with the past.

While straight, narrow black pants were worn with strict jackets and zippered shirts, ragged, tattered dresses were wrapped around the body to look nonchalantly chic. Tailored jeans were the perfect companions for batwing turtlenecks, tapestry tiger-print vests and elaborately ruffled tops. The quiet color scheme—centered on black, navy, rust and tan—added an element of sobriety and elegance to the clothes. In all, it was an extraordinary presentation—one that is sure to put Balenciaga once and for all in the center of the fashion map.