We always look to Balenciaga's Nicolas Ghesquiere for eye-opening styles, and his Pre-Fall collection is no exception. Tunics! Metallic pants! Plaids! Crazy bomber jacket! Now do we wear it all together? Click on the slideshow for more trends from Balenciaga.
>> After closing out Balenciaga's Spring 2011 runway show back in September, rumors swirled that Gisele Bündchen would be the face of the ad campaign. And they were true: images of the campaign just surfaced featuring Bündchen, accompanied by ghostly-looking male model Yuri Pleskun, channeling her inner punk in Nicolas Ghesquière’s latest collection. The campaign was shot by Steven Meisel and Marie-Amélie Sauvé styled.
>> Nicolas Ghesquiere was in New York last night — he was given the Superstar award at Fashion Group International's Night of Stars gala — and while he was pleased to be one of the youngest ever to receive the honor, he joked, “I might be the youngest, but I'm coming from the oldest house. And I don’t feel like a superstar at all. It’s like a fantasy book title!” Ghesquiere also shared: “I just took a Western road trip. I went to San Francisco, Utah, and Arizona just taking pictures and discovering the beauty of all the landscapes. I was in awe of Utah.” Next season's inspiration, perhaps? [DFR]
Kate Bosworth put on a Proenza Schouler dress and hit the red carpet with the label's designers, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, yesterday for the annual Night of Stars gala in NYC. Leighton Meester dressed up in Giambattista Valli for the event, while Jennifer Connelly got decked out in Balenciaga to present designer Nicolas Ghesquiere with the evening's Superstar statue. Kate was in the Big Apple during a break from shooting her raunchy new movie BFF & Baby in LA with Krysten Ritter, and Gossip Girl Leighton was likewise back on the East Coast following a trip west for the recent Hollywood Awards.
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Nicolas Ghesquiere, Sick of Clone Models, Cast Gisele, Carolyn Murphy, and Pregnant Miranda Kerr for Balenciaga Spring 2011
>> Nicolas Ghesquiere's Spring 2011 model cast grabbed as much attention — if not more — than the clothes; and it seems that he devoted just as much time curating his model troupe as designing this season.
In June, the Balenciaga team started a street casting tour: in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Belgium, and Australia, eventually turning up seven girls — Ghesquiere called them "characters" — a dancer, an artist . . . all willing to have their hair bleached or dyed black and cut into a punky crop specifically for the show. Alongside those girls — among them was Alexander Wang opener Britt Maren — the cast included a parade of notables: Stella Tennant, Amber Valletta, Carolyn Murphy, a pregnant Miranda Kerr, with Gisele Bündchen closing. "I was sick of the clone-model thing," the designer offered as explanation, adding: "It's about individuality."
The show also explored “bringing out the man that is in every woman,” according to the designer, who sourced the collection's houndstooth pattern from a 1965 Cristobal Balenciaga silk column dress. Also featured: in his first time since joining Balenciaga, Ghesquiere did flats, creeper-style.
>> Yesterday, Balenciaga announced that after 12 years of partnership with Pierre Rougier's PR Consulting, it is severing all ties and bringing US public relations in-house. The switch is "a normal evolution," according to Lionel Vermeil, communications director for Balenciaga.
WWD cites sources, however, who say otherwise. Some are speculating that tensions between the two rose after a Balenciaga designer left for a job with a New York-based label which PR Consulting represents (the company's stable includes Proenza Schouler, Vera Wang, Narciso Rodriguez, Rag & Bone, L'Wren Scott, and Zero + Maria Cornejo). Others suggested that Balenciaga execs were upset with what they saw as too-close similarities between Nicolas Ghesquiere's designs and those of other PR Consulting clients. The Cut notes that when Carine Roitfeld and the Vogue Paris team were banned from Balenciaga's show in March, similar rumors that Carine had loaned Max Mara a coat, which their design studio copied before sending back, popped up.
>> Fall 2010 campaign season is well under way — and although not all casts have been finalized, as is the case over at Miu Miu, many have, causing an influx of rumors and confirmations. On Wednesday, Karen Elson joined Christy Turlington and Natalia Vodianova on the Fall 2010 Louis Vuitton campaign set in New York, where Steven Meisel photographed and Karl Templer styled. Meisel also shot the Lanvin campaign this week in New York, with Alber Elbaz overseeing another trio: Anja Rubik, Magdelena Frackowiak and Mariacarla Boscono.
Givenchy, too, is rumored to be going with a trio of female models — Ming Xi, Joan Smalls, and Mariacarla Boscono — joined by a few male models in front of Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott's lens. But the trio trend breaks there — word going around is that Meisel captured 12 girls for Balenciaga, including Finnish newcomer Kirsi Pyrhonen, and Roberto Cavalli is going solo with Gisele Bundchen shot by Mert and Marcus.
>> In the latest edition of Style.com's "Future of Fashion" series, Julie Gilhart maintains that live fashion shows are still a must — "If the Rodarte girls didn’t have a fashion show, would you be able to get the essence of that collection?" — but says that the runway collections should be edited down in size, as they are becoming less and less aligned with what is actually sold in the stores:
"The runway collections actually come late in the season, and the reality of the way American retail is set up, things go on sale not that long after the runway pieces come in. So there should be less pieces in the runway, and our buys shouldn’t be weighted in the runway. They should be weighted into the pre-collections, so you have longer to sell, and you can put a mix together and it looks like a more edited exclusive product in the store. Balenciaga is one of my favorite shows to go to because Nicolas [Ghesquiere] only does 35 exits, which is really small for a show, but you can almost memorize those 35 exits. They’re put on Style.com, they’re shot in every single magazine, they’re everywhere — so by the time they come in the store, I don’t know if I so want the whole runway exit thing. Maybe I want a piece of it, but the bulk of what we’re going to sell in a collection like Balenciaga is going to come in before those runway pieces come in."
>> Tom Ford helped Gucci Group acquire Balenciaga in 2001, particularly because of the interest in Nicolas Ghesquiere's design talent. It seems Ford's feelings haven't changed much — the two designers chat in the February 2010 issue of Interview and he admits to Ghesquiere: "I want to say that you are my favorite contemporary designer." Ford conducted the entire phone interview nude: "I stay this way pretty much 24 hours a day. Richard [Buckley, Ford's boyfriend] is very funny. He is usually completely dressed. He does not like to be naked. So he is in the house; we are having dinner. I am sitting there naked; he is sitting there completely dressed."
Nicolas on his design future »
Alexa Chung has signed on to design a collection for J.Crew's Madewell, telling Vogue.com “I want to bring back forties tea dresses, sixties mod dresses. . . . I want to bring cute back.”
Tom Ford interviews Nicolas Ghesquière in the February issue of Interview magazine, on newsstands January 26. Among topics of conversation—golf.
Edun names Sharon Wauchob creative director. She will continue to design her 10-year-old signature collection.
The best of Proenza Schouler's pre-fall accessories—the low wedge combat boot, navy and black glitter open-toe platform sandals, and a brown leather paper-bag tote.