Skin was the big news here, and with it more than a whiff of sex. Sometimes a Balenciaga show can be head-scratchingly tough to parse; this one was thrilling in the way it just left you hot. Beforehand, Ghesquière said, “It’s the most sensual collection I’ve ever done,” then proceeded to rattle off a string of references that prove it was every inch as thoroughly researched as his more conceptual outings: the mythology of antiquity, stiff ruffles from a Cristobal dress circa 1968, a nymph and faun window display Janine Janet made for the store’s windows in ’57. The fabrics were as bleeding edge as ever, too: tweeds that weren’t tweeds but dense embroideries, delicate lace fused to molded synthetics, and T-shirt knits dipped in glue for stiffness. As the show continued, Ghesquiere’s preoccupations shifted from the macro to the micro. To close, he sent out a series of little dresses in coated guipure lace that coded sweet as much as sexy.
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