Wednesday, October 06, 2004

'An officer and a Gentleman'

In this time of one dizzying trend after another, in your face excess, and too much 'frou', one of the best things an influential, world class designer can do, is to breathe new life into favorite, time worn classics and somehow 'reinvent them' , making them look fresh and desirable. That is precisely what Nicolas Guesquiere was able to accomplish in Paris during his runway show yesterday -- instantly dusting off any stodgy or old fashioned image that might have been associated with gold buttons, navy blazers, epaulets, and naval inspired tailored pieces (you know, the sort of things that on paper, you would think might be better suited to 'bridge' departments of large commercial stores). But of course, when Nicolas delves into the amazing archives of the house of Balenciaga, the result is anything but Liz Claiborne, let's be honest. Come to think of it, it actually sounds very 'Ralph Lauren' to me and the perfect direction for him to take for next fall/winter.

While Mr. Guesquiere's past efforts - while always interesting to watch, and often truly wonderful - were often frought with a bit too much trickery and odd experimentation, with this collection, he was able to merge the best of both worlds - the wearable and timeless, with modern, youthful verve. Flights of fancy are fun, and provide a welcome interlude, but most women really want to look chic and pulled together in great 'tailleur'. And of course, they want to look hip and cool at the same time (not frumpy). That is not always an easy feat. Mr. Guesquiere was able to pull that off in one fell swoop!


- Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

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