Nicolas Ghesquière’s muse for S/S ’11 seemed more teenage tomboy than ever. Given that the face of his brand is Charlotte Gainsbourg, a woman in her late thirties with the figure of a teenager and a kind of un-artificial beauty that doesn’t require her to brush her hair, this aesthetic seemed logical. Ghesquiere riffed on the tomboy theme while parading these creations on the backs of the most gorgeous, recognizable models there are – from youngsters Lindsay Wixson and Chanel Iman to Liu Wen, Miranda Kerr, Amber Valetta, Freja Beha, Jamie Bochert and Stella Tennant. Gisele closed the show in a very surgical white plastic gown looking like a cleaned up version of Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil. How iconic!
But we digress. Balenciaga’s girls who dressed like boys wore – mohair Dennis the Menace-y boxy tank tops, amour-like tunics and jackets in a jumbo houndstooth, buttoned up to the neck shirts – some with tux jackets over the top, some out of collaged coloured chiffon and topped of with rockabilly quiffs and angry fringes. Drainpipe trousers with turn-ups ended where brothel-creeperish shoes began.
Elsewhere nineties grunge was given a peculiarly super-deluxe Balenciaga finish, with floral dresses of a slouchy fit that were complimented by quilted leather motorcycle jackets and the obligatory clumpy black shoes. Apparently, this was the first show in 12 years that featured flat shoes and there was no chance of any of Nicholas’s boyish army falling flat on their face at this show. They looked sturdy enough to withstand even the most inclement winter weather, let alone spring and summer.
- Naomi Attwood