Nicolas Ghesquière offered a masterclass in textile innovation, colour and proportion today. “I was inspired by the utilitarian influence,” he explained after the show. “What clicked for me was the sailor thing” — referring to the practical elegance of the workwear of the fishermen and peasants of Balenciaga’s Basque homeland. Indeed there was a strong utilitarian element in details like the patch pockets, the draped white cotton shirts and a fresh interpretation of Balenciaga’s classic fisherman’s smock. For Spring/Summer, Ghesquière also explored the idea of “architecture floating” with boxy jackets pieced from geometric shapes and segments of stiff 1960s haute couture fabrics. He teamed these with sporty looking track shorts and a chic new jean that was belted high on the waist and pleated for a fuller shape. The finale looks were crowned with vast-brimmed hats inspired by Balenciaga’s 1967 bride — and in turn derived from a traditional basque fisherman’s hat. Few designers can continually create the ‘new’ or ‘the next’, whilst still keeping things wearable and firmly in touch with what women want today. Ghesquière is one such designer who revels in such a proposition.
Text: Caroline Newell
Photography: Mitchell Sams