Paris: At once futuristic and vintage-inspired, Nicolas Ghesquière’s collection for Balenciaga took mid-century Teddy Boy looks and blasted them into outer space. Sleeveless motorcycle jackets, cropped black pants, button-up shirts and brothel creepers conjured the 50s tough-guy vibe, while tech-y fabrics with a plastic, glossy sheen added a sci-fi touch. Edgy embellishment added to the punk aesthetic: button-up shirts had metal tabs on the points of their collars that looked as though they were inspired by razor blades or knives, and metal grommets dotted wrap skirts and jackets. The show opened with an oversized red and black houndstooth pattern, which quickly became a key motif, also interpreted in navy and white variations, as well as multicolored sequin styles. Colored snakeskin appeared for jackets, and tops featured the pattern for collars and shoulder panels, but balanced it out with neon lace fronts. The collection closed in more familiar territory with a series of structured dresses made from the techno fabrics that wrapped around the body. While there is sure to be chatter about Ghesquière’s casting choices – veteran supermodels like Gisele, Amber and Stella mixed with unknowns discovered on the street – the new tough-chic mood was compelling and perfectly of-the-moment.

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