On the ninth of November, the fashion world was buzzing with a shocking piece of breaking news: Nicolas Ghesquiere, who has been the creative director of the mega fashion house Balenciaga since 1997, is leaving Balenciaga. The brand confirmed the news, saying it was a "joint decision". British Vogue reported that the CEO and chairman of PPR (the company that owns the brand) François-Henri Pinault said "With an incomparable creative talent, Nicolas has brought to Balenciaga an artistic contribution essential to the unique influence of the house." These words could not be more true. Flipping through Balenciaga's fashion archives over the past fifteen years reveals just how talented Nicolas is. Like the renowned Cristobal Balenciaga, who was known for changing the traditional silhouettes of womenswear, Nicolas molds and constructs fabrics into intricate, innovative creations. To learn more about Cristobal Balenciaga himself, I strongly suggest reading this wonderful article from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The designer's deeply inspiring background and history as an artist is worth a read, as it truly explains how amazing Balenciaga is.
As a fashion blogger, I will choose not to dwell on the astounding news, unlike my favorite fashion news websites. Most websites today are reporting that a successor is yet to be announced. I, like most other fashion-obsessed individuals, am waiting with bated breath to discover who will fill the tremendous position that is currently empty. However, this post will capture the immense contribution to the world of fashion that Nicolas brought – for a full fifteen years. Critics and editors alike have an immense amount of respect and admiration for the designer. Suzy Menkes and Andre Leon Talley have described the designer as "special", "intriguing", and "original". His classic way of playing with silhouettes and structures of clothing are evidently his strongest point as a designer, as seen in the Spring 2013 collection.
The latest collection is a perfect example of Ghesquiere's exceptionally innovative ensembles. Inspired by Cristobal's 1930's ballet creations, Nicolas put a stunning spin on the clothes. Crisp hemlines and peplum-style cuts (with poetic swirls on each skirt) added an unusual Ghesquiere-touch to the outfits. As this collection was Nicolas' last piece of work, it was a breathtaking final multitude of works with which to exit the brand with.
As the fashion world acknowledges, Nicolas Ghesquiere's vacancy at Balenciaga is quite a sad moment for the fashion house. The designer, like Cristobal, is leaving behind a large legacy at the startlingly beautiful brand.