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Balenciaga

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URBANE JUNGLE

Nicolas Ghesquière somehow manages to be experimental and to exemplify the elegance the house of Balenciaga stands for. For S/S 10 he seemed to pick up on the chic scavenger theme first introduced a few seasons back by Rodarte and their artisanal shreds, but Ghesquière’s version is a bit more biker-meets-nomad.  Luxe yet sturdy materials like leather, coated cotton and rustic weaves were combined with metal rings, snaps and exposed zippers for androgynous motocross looks that opened the show. Hooded sleeveless jackets were shown over slim, patched pants with wide, shirred elastic waist bands — sure to be a hot item. A structured vest had densely woven lanyard strands and whip-stitched edges, like a super sophisticated summer camp crafts project. Another sleeveless item suggested a bullet-proof vest, softened by thick natural linen panels and golden trim. Lifting the dark palette, whitened mint green looked sleek rather than sweet, and a few shots of brights enlivened collaged tanks and shift dresses.  Expressionist brushstroke prints that were part 50s home furnishing, part tribal, added to the urban jungle feel.  Tiger-tooth charm bracelets and agate rings suggested prizes won from battles, proving victory for these worldly warriors.

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