Nicolas Ghesquiere’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection for Balenciaga, showcased the designer’s idiosyncratic re-interpretation of house founder Cristobal’s archives, as well as his own ingenious design language.
The collection reflected principally on Ghesquiere’s penchant for techno-couture and abstract minimalism, revealed in the designer’s laboratory-esque approach to fabrication and technique exploration. Graphic prints and bold panels adorned shirts and dresses, as color-blocked neoprene-looking silk jackets, plexiglass-effect cuff bracelets, and geometric, cross-strapped booties made for a fully realized vision.
The intellectualism often associated with Ghesquiere’s designs seemed all the more fitting this season, given the collection’s kaleidoscopic quality and referential undertones. Elevated everyday wear, rendered in asymmetrically cut white t-shirts and perfectly tailored pleated jeans, offered an original hypothesis on the identity of a woman in the contemporary world. The boyish attitude of the show’s opening looks, including high-waisted shorts and exaggerated shoulders, grew all the more powerful as the hems became longer and exceedingly less revealing. The passage of structured, triangular shaped dresses in metallic hues sporting boldly positioned pockets touched on utilitarianism before turning to the feminine, represented in the show’s deep v-neck finale dresses covered in feathery metallic finishes.
Above all, spring/summer 2012 celebrated Ghesquiere’s uncanny ability to bring together the organic and synthetic in an utterly modern context, all while reflecting on his intimate relationship with Cristobal’s archive. The voluminous quality and futurist cuts of the collection’s standout garments referenced Cristobal’s trademark construction techniques, as vividly as Ghesquiere’s impressive reworking of Cristobal’s fishermen-inspired, 1967 wedding veil. Much like Cristobal, Nicolas Ghesquiere exemplifies modernity through his ability to capture the beauty of the present time by being a constant spectator, with a childlike ability to see everything in a state of newness and find beauty in transient quotidian moments.