lördag, maj 17, 2008

Balenciaga Up On Blocks

I ventured into the Balenciaga shop in Chelsea almost by accident. It looked like a whitewashed cave entrance, guarded only by a vault-shaped glass door. An auto repair sign hung on the building wall above the entrance. At first I figured BMW or Rolls repair. Then I saw the name on the glass and started to jump up and down like a four year old in front of the Disney store. I walked through, with a solemnity reserved for an art gallery, because the pieces seemed exactly that: extremely not massed produced, pieces of art.

Founder Cristobal Balenciaga died in 1972, and family ran the business for years afterwards. In 2001, Gucci Group, in partnership with Nicolas Ghesquière as creative director, acquired the House. Such big business, such little pieces. I can't really wear the look, sometimes like Chanel (and often more saccharine), other times more S&M (and often S&M with lolipops.) Always novel and inspired. What I saw in person was a bit more office friendly, acid-colored, and big floraled than what I clipped here. But no matter what the pattern, it is very itty-bitty and structured like a child's colored building blocks.