Nicolas Ghesquière, Trendsetter

Architectural minimalism, body-conscious bell shapes, innerwear-as-outwear, tartan and plaid, sparkle and shine: All recently popular trends, all seen first on the runway of Balenciaga. Certain designers are known for having a signature style, while others seem to spearhead whatever is the most important trend of the season. In the case of Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga, he is more often than not ahead of the curve. I found some great examples when I scoured through Francisco Costa was lauded in S2009 for his architecturally-biased collection for Calvin Klein. Three years before, a very similar dress appeared in the S2006 Balenciaga show.

The innerwear-on-the-outside trend was the overwhelming success of the S2010 Collections. Balenciaga showed a version with an exposed bra back in Spring 2006!

For Pre-Fall 10 Vera Wang twinned a sparkling shift with a fine knit cardigan resembling a dress with a similar feel from Balenciaga's Spring 06 show.

Balenciaga's collection for S2008 was a breath of fresh air showing a brand new body-con bell shape. It still looks directional two years later as shown by London designer, Giles.

There has been an upsurge in recent seasons in the amount of sheepskin, fur and other hairy aspects for vests and gilets. In Fall 2008, Dolce & Gabbana showed a number of woolly versions worn over tailored separates, sparking numerous copies. Balenciaga's Spring 2002 runway show included a very similar style.

Tiered flounces have decorated skirts on many runways in recent seasons, Luella Bartley amongst others showed several for Spring 2009, Balenciaga's version was part of the Fall 2001 Collection!

Tartan and plaid cloaked the runways of Fall 2008, including this mixed version from Ralph Lauren. Balenciaga first showed this striking version for Fall 2006.

Full and pleated pants were shown on many runways for Fall 2009, including this popular pair from Stella McCartney. The Balenciaga version is from Fall 2004 topped off with another favorite piece from the past Decade, the cropped tuxedo jacket.


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