From runway to rue

Balenciaga 2011-2012, ready-to-wear collection stayed true to its name and was in fact “ready to wear.” The term was not used as a euphemism to describe clothes that had absolutely no scope of being translated or transgressing even to the hi-fashion streets of London, Milan or Paris.

Long flowery silky skirts, boxy jackets, bright neon body-contouring dresses worn with cigarette pants and coats inspired by the actual archives of Cristobal Balenciaga. Even the description is redolent of every day wear.

The latest collection of Balenciaga is an amalgamation of my prior blogs focusing on taking risks in fashion and non-conformity in order to fully explore our creative potential. It has been the running theme of my blog entries.


A twist on the traditional suit. Note, the textured grey cigarette pants and structured coat, worn with a long dress inside. Yes, a dress, a tad bit longer than the coat. Imagine a dress worn inside an almost traditional suit. Some of you may scoff and say dowdy, not fitted enough, too loose. You have to open your mind and treat fashion as art. Truly, it is all about structure, lines, forms and individuality. Notice how the pants are fitted in order to pare down the volume of the coat. It is almost as if the famous architects Frank Gehry or Zaha Hadid drafted the designs. I am getting goose bumps typing this piece as the potential of fashion is so unlimited. The suit is not fitted or restricted. Yet, its structure, ease and layering makes it über modern and stylish. Imagine walking down the streets of Paris in this outfit, or in the alternative, dressed for a corporate boardroom meeting. It makes a forceful impact on the viewer in any setting. Can a skin-tight fitted dress have the same effect? Maybe a lascivious one, but the wearers of Balenciaga are not vying for such an effect.

Balenciaga A/W 2011-2012

Look at the above photo. A much below the knee torrent of fuchsia dress worn with muted grey pants. The perfect combination of bright and muted colors. Nicolas Ghesquiere did not feel compelled to make this dress in a body hugging, thigh high silhouette. It was not needed as despite its length, the impact is style, coquettish sexiness and grace. Imagine the juxtaposition of these elements and the result is sheer fashion combustion.


A boxy color block sweater made of what appears to be the sponge used in surfer’s suits worn with an almost ankle-length patent skirt. No revelation of chest, back, arms, legs, except the ankles. What is the effect? It leaves the interpretation to the viewers imagination.

This is what I call “ready-to-wear.”