Maybe it's just me but looking at this collection is a bit like watching someone get punked. This season Nicholas Ghesquierre has managed to create a world so aggressively hostile that even the IT girls near the end: Amber, Stella, and Giselle look like bloodless, pasty, chunky mares. That takes a lot of effort which appears to be where his energy was directed. How are the uber-Editrixes going to climb onto this bandwagon in shoes without heels and clothes that are completely without irony. This is more menswear for a Bryan Boy or a Tommy Ton and perhaps a little something, something for Tavi that she can grow into. No doubt it will sell but that is small comfort. I've noticed that the uglier the collection the more noise it makes.
The show opened with "real" girls from the street in short boyish haircuts, all androgynous and sensibly shod. There were no shoes other than the brogues that stomped through the show. Fantasy leather made up a series of coats and suits in a bold houndstooth. The workmanship was impressive but the slippery plasticity of these pieces was ultimately repellent. Neon mixes of lace made up stark tops with asymmetric necklines. All of these hard shapes were familiar fare from him but done in a more discordant way. There was a feeling of clashing dissonances that may be melodious to his ear but grating to mine.
The moto-cross jackets in leather were fantastic but not enough for me to lift this heavy load. Tuxedo jackets were beautiful examples of the skill of this venerable house. I wondered why they weren't mixed with shapes that would balance and soften the message. Perhaps, Ghesquierre wants to see how close he can dance the lemmings to the edge of the abyss. Well, if they're screaming, "Brilliant!!!", then they're already dead.
There was a Tru Blood vibe to the proceedings with all of his girls looking whiter than white. There was a distinct absence of color in their faces or in their skin. That's cool but it makes for a rather lifeless presentation. I loved last season and had no expectations for this one except to be challenged and amused. This collection left me as cold as these girls appeared. There is a real beauty to such a forbidding landscape like the icebergs you see shot by Olaf Otto Becker in his book, Broken Line. I've often thought that the clothes coming from Balenciaga have a very similar quality. Unfortunately, this can swing too far to the right becoming harsh. They are a metaphor for a person who appears too cool to care but just below the surface she's hoping that someone, anyone, is watching.
On the Street…East Ninth St., New York
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