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Balenciaga’s Rajasthan Ripples

Godfrey Deeny
March 05th, 2009 @ 12:13 AM - Paris

Balenciaga, the stylish French fashion house presented a fall 2009 Sari Silhouette collection in the Crillon Hotel Thursday morning, March 5.

This was not designer Nicolas Ghesquiere‘s greatest collection yet, however it will still probably be considered as one of the half dozen most influential anywhere this season.

For fall, Ghesquiere got inspiration from things Indian, in particular the drape of a Sari, which he saw lots of on a fall trip in India. There was nothing literal about this collection, floor length saris were imagined by Ghesquiere as delectable minis or slim, soaring jodhpurs, paired with Jaipur jazz gold bracelets, ribbon belts and great glistening Maharani tops. Unlike in India, the women were not overly covered up. Lace bras peeked out of satin tops, draped like temple arches.

Ghesquiere’s footwear was sensational - fishing net covered knobby platforms with more ribbons, or heels in abstract volcanic marble prints, some Indian-inspired, others inspired by Balenciaga archival origins. The Balenciaga beauty will be color-coordinated this fall, with matching abstract dresses in the finest of sequins.

“India was something that was always there in the archives of the house. But only after going there did I realize how deeply,” Ghesquiere explained backstage after the show.

Yet, while thoroughly chic and rather distinguished, the collection did not quite hit the heights that Ghesquiere can reach, where the fertility of the concept and panache of the execution makes his shows truly thrilling. Today we had to settle for excitement.

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