NYTimes The Balenciaga show was just over as Francois Pinault, the art patron and founder of PPR, slipped out of the backstage, past a throng of waiting guests. A sustained roar followed as the models, still in their outfits, clapped and cheered.
Kristen Stewart arrived for the Balenciaga show.
Two, three minutes went by. Then a security guard ushered in the actress Kristen Stewart, dressed in scribble-print white jeans and a black tank top, a lime-yellow leather jacket slung over her shoulder, to have her moment with Nicolas Ghesquiere.
She talked and talked. Oh, brother. As Mr. Ghesquiere listened, she worked her way from outfit to the next, saying what she liked about it. She skipped nothing and her enthusiasm showed.
Coverage from in and around the Paris shows.
Holding up the line at Balenciaga is understandable, but on Thursday morning, as the Paris shows accelerated, Mr. Ghesquiere put a lot of new options on the runway. In one sense, the lean tailoring and white, squared-off tops, with their Catholic overtones, brought his designs back to his roots at Balenciaga, when the cool clothes attracted a girl force. But in another way, this collection was confidently grown up, as if Mr. Ghesquiere knew he had nothing to prove.
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“I think Balenciaga has given me a quiet force,” he said.
Several things stood out. First, the innovations in fabrics were not belabored, as they sometimes were in the past. I’m not sure I fully understood Mr. Ghesquiere’s explanation about the fabric for tank and strapless dresses with a ruffle crawling up the leg—it sounded like a new type of crepe de chine, maybe with bonding. Anyway, the fabric looked pliable and light, and the ruffled skirts came in more stripped-down styles, too. Also appealing were white lace and knit tops, as rigid as a lacquered doily.
The collection had a touch of mythology and nature (in knife pleated skirts embroidered with black thorns or, if you like, barbed wire). Out of those two forces, though, Mr. Ghesquiere found a compelling new silhouette—an easy tank dress, almost an apron, with a flared skirt and a swag of pinstriped fabric in the front. The music, from the French group Lescop, was “La Foret.”
GOD bless you