Friday, March 5, 2010


The fashion coverage around here has been pretty abysmal since Emily went back to gotdamn school, and neither of us have been paying much attention to the shows in the past few weeks, other than what the Times covers every morning. However, among a few other collections, Balenciaga was one that really caught my eye. Click to enlarge:

These clothes are subtly strange – imaging seeing someone wearing them on the street. I think I'm probably fairly predictable with the stuff I like but again I think Nicolas Ghesquiere is doing interesting things with shape, structure, color, and texture.

He told Cathy Horyn his aim was “to ennoble everyday domestic objects.” Looking at the clothes with that in mind, I think he succeeded. (Video of the show is here.)

Related gossip: Carine Roitfeld and staff did not receive invitations to the show – apparently because they had the nerve to mix and match Balenciaga with another designer in the pages of French Vogue. It's almost always lame when designers get mad at good magazines, and especially so in this case, considering that (as New York puts it) mixing brands is the entire point of styling. Oh well.


Anonymous said...

I wish I better understood the concept. Why does what people wear matter? I understand it in a way. They create a different/better scene or picture, but it seems so limited. I'm not being "smart," but can't juggle it in my mind,
I see fashion as being different from other art forms, though I don't know why. Maybe because it's more based on sales. Change things up and sell more?

Strath said...

I think you have a point, that ultimately a company like Balenciaga exists to make money, and if the designer they hire makes new designs, people will buy them.

On another level, we all make aesthetic choices all the time – you could survive in a little hut but you choose your house/apt based at least in part on how it looks or feels. You could have an IV drip but instead you choose food that tastes good and sometimes different. You may even choose the clothes you wear based on a desire to convey modesty or some other characteristic – I doubt it is only on price or function.

Fashion is shallow when it's based only on vanity or voyeurism, or the desire for conspicuous consumption. I don't think that is the case here. These clothes are conceptual – there's an idea and the idea is expanded into a collection.

I think of fashion as a commercial art like architecture, graphic design, or being a chef. The distinction is that so-called "fine art" exists without the requirement to sell (though many would argue with even that). If Nicolas Ghesquiere was not connected to a major brand but was instead designing these clothes and not required to sell them, would that be fine art?

Anonymous said...

That's a thoughtful, welcome reply, though I still don't know if I understand.
Oh gosh, I just caught myself pondering this by rubbing my chin like Plato---or whoever that was.
I will think more about it.