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Paris…Balenciaga

In a change from his esoteric looks of the past few seasons, Nicolas Ghesquière produced a collection of staple pieces. His previous spring collection was defined by space age dresses and long sleeve tops that clung to the body in futuristic forms. For F/W 09, he presented a more feminine story of loosely draped dresses and skirts of glossy-shine satin, held in place with waistbands that recalled formal cummerbunds. Harem pants were draped in the same satin and then tapered at the ankle. The mix of materials was orchestrated in a masterful manner, best displayed in collarless wool gabardine jackets that transitioned into cascading satin. A lace bandeau with small velvet polka dots (also applied to hosiery) layered underneath dresses and acted as a subtle cover-up to exposed skin. Silk velvet devoré burnout looked innovative on Edwardian-style dresses with leg-of-mutton sleeves and unevenly draped hemlines created by an off-center front bustle. The molded sleeve from the S/S 08 collection was retained for fall, but produced in a more subdued manner. With an ’80s era influence at play, padding was added to lurex-blend knit sweaters, tucked into tulip-shaped skirts, duchesse satin blouses and Le Smoking tuxedo jackets. Ghesquière’s beautiful floral prints were also reinvented from large-scale placements to painterly blossoms that evoked Impressionist styles.

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