Any time I write about Balenciaga I feel like I should have a moment of silence in honor of Cristobal Balenciaga, the visionary with unmatched skills who started the line back in 1918. Today, Nicolas Ghesquiere helms the brand, and he has a gift for taking some of Balenciaga’s signature silhouettes and infusing them with a totally avant garde sense of play. The Balenciaga Cruise 2011 collection is no exception.
So, what is Balenciaga Cruise 2011 all about? There are some great 1960s silhouettes, a number of unusual prints, color blocking, skinny belts, and to go with those 60s looks, white eyeshadow. Unless I’ve been reading the latest economic news all wrong, I’m guessing that most of us aren’t going to be going on cruises that require a designer wardrobe anytime soon. But that’s OK, because this collection has hints of trends we’ll likely see elsewhere, and some ideas we can incorporate into our own looks.
For one thing, the bright, mustard colored minidress with notched lapels is a shape that most of us can add in some form to our wardrobes. the button front and slim, short sleeves emphasize the vertical lines, helping those of us who are height challenged to look a little longer and leaner. Most of us won’t want to wear a dress this short, but it could easily be adapted to go over skinny or stovepipe trousers, and longer, more wearable versions are inevitable.
Printed shirtwaist dresses cinched with skinny belts are a classic look that lots of women find flattering, cool, and comfortable. And for those who wear pantsuits for work, Ghesquiere gives the look length with piping up the trousers and up one side only of the short, close-fitting jacket, for a bit of a twist. In blush pink, it’s one of the most feminine pantsuits you’ll find. To sum it up, Balenciaga Cruise 2011 portends a continuation of the fascination with 1960s feminine silhouettes, done up in vivid pastels and unusual prints, with skinny belts like many of us already have pulling the look together.