2010 October 1

Runway Reviews: Balenciaga, Barbara Bui

Balenciaga Spring 2011 Balenciaga Spring 2011
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Nicholas Ghesquiere may have looked to the street for his Spring 2011 collection, but when it came to the casting, he looked to the supers. Not only did Gisele close out his show, but Stella Tennant, Carolyn Murphy, Amber Valetta, and a pregnant Miranda Kerr took the runway along with a handful of unknowns plucked off the street by the Balenciaga team. The result added to that dash of the unexpected Ghesquiere is so revered for; he may look to the archives of Cristobal for his structured shapes, but this was no throwback. Graphic houndstooth in bright colors and flat creeper shoes were a bit punk, layered lace in techno-bright shades and prints were far from precious, and a pale blue python moto vest and quilted camel jacket will surely be must-have for the brand’s loyal followers. Not all was so edgy, though—Balenciaga may not have as strong a presence on the events circuit as your Marchesas and Lanvins, but Valetta’s glimmering goddess gown was definitely a red carpet contender.

The idea of a contrasts in a collection isn't new of course, but Barbara Bui seemed to really explore the concept to especially accent her strength in signature accessories and other gems like multiple-pocket jackets, pleated jerseys, and sequined skirts. In her Spring 2011 showing, Bui played with everything from raw canvas to soft leather to splashes of gold and crystal to articulate her breed of chic. Although Bui knows her woman well, we were still itching to see more fire and force with some repetitive separates. But when it comes to Bui, one of course must always note the accessories; this season, she included wedges with a shiny quotient, great alligator satchels, and strong metal heels.