Like Christmas in April
Former Balenciaga designer makes a rare appearance out for System magazine's celebration of Saint Nicolas
System magazine scored a big coup with its first cover subject: Nicolas Ghesquière, who's kept a low profile since leaving Balenciaga last year. But the new magazine, founded by women-about-town Elizabeth von Guttman and Alexia Niedzielski, alongside Jonathan Wingfield, Thomas Lenthal, and Ghesquière's longtime friend and stylist Marie-Amélie Sauvé, says he's "Back to Work"—or so, at least, reads its cover line.
If he's back to work, he's also back to play, judging by last night's party, honoring Sauvé and Ghesquière. At an appropriately insider-ish venue, the yet-to-open Monsieur Bleu restaurant at Paris' Palais de Tokyo, he rubbed shoulders with fans and admirers: LVMH's Yves Carcelle (surely the presence of these two in the same room will be enough to send the Ghesquière-to-LVMH rumor mill churning once again), muse and Balenciaga fragrance face Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Casiraghi, and designers ranging from Pierre Hardy to Martine Sitbon to Maison Michel milliner Laetitia Crahay. Michel Gaubert even created an exclusive playlist for the night. The magazine's founders professed themselves thrilled with the result, even after a few bumps in the road. (Apparently, it was a delicate negotiation to get Sauvé on board as a contributing editor without jeopardizing her position at W.) "We were so happy to celebrate the launch of our debut issue alongside Nicolas and Marie-Amélie," von Guttman said. "After our numerous challenges, it's good to finally see the magazine. It was definitely worth it!"
The dress code, unofficially or not, was Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière on all and sundry. As far as a retrospective (or apter models for it) goes, you couldn't do much better. So there's the past work, and the magazine—available today at Colette, Dover Street Market, and Opening Ceremony—which seem to promise that the man is Back at it. The whispered hope around the room: All Systems go?