This article is as valid today as it was 4 years ago when it was initially written.
Give me a couture dress for every time I refer to Balenciaga and I will eclipse Daphne Guinness. BALENCIAGA… could there possibly have been a better heir? Enter Nicolas Ghesquière, our modern day alchemist, everything he touches turns into gold.
One of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2005 and the only fashion designer in that edition; he is fashion’s own saint, appropriately named Nicolas.
He doesn’t do couture and has no interest in it and I adore the workmanship of couture, so why the love? Simply because he has the skill, the artistry to construct just as beautiful clothes; you can only imagine the potential should he change his mind. Till then his collections continue to fuse elements of ready to wear and haute couture.
“I don’t know who that customer is and what that glitz is about.”
Nicolas Ghesquière on couture
Quiet, introspective and frankly bloody amazing, he ranks among some of the best designers alongside the demi-gods at Lanvin, YSL, Bottega Veneta and the Hussein Chalayans of this world.
While I respect some of the aforementioned designers, Style.com couldn’t have said it in better:
“Unlike Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren, Ghesquière has no interest in marketing a lifestyle based on his public persona; unlike Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors, he does not (yet) work for a classic house to serve the purpose of funding a business empire in his own name; and unlike John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, he has no ambition to turn himself into a poly-talented (and poly-peculiar) fashion legend of the Karl Lagerfeld variety.”
From his cyber flower to the Marie Antoinette post millennium and the sci-fi chemistry teacher, his collections make you marvel and I feel it’s for a similar reason I love Alber Elbaz. It’s that quiet knowingness which lets the art speak for itself.
As Time magazine puts it:
“Just like Cristobal Balenciaga, he has a relentless sense of innovation. He knows what you’re going to want to wear before you do”
“He’s often called a designer’s designer and compared to Yves Saint Laurent in his ability to feel and shape fashion.”
WWD: “Some designers are showmen; others are realists. Nicolas Ghesquière is a scientist who conducts experiments with fashion, distils it down to a concentrated essence and uncorks it for a rapt audience every season in a seven- to 10-minute runway dissertation.”
In his own words: “What interests me about a garment is the ‘transformation”.
Nicolas Ghesquière has managed to forge his way into a house with such a history as Balenciaga while maintaining the spirit of the house and moving fast into the future…all with indispensable ease. He has my respect.