For spring/summer 2009, Nicholas Ghesquière produced an extraordinary collection for Balenciaga which, aside from being a visual adventure in sci-fi, displayed lots of innovation in cut, structure, and material. Along with the eerily beautiful, softly layered metallic dresses, the metallic, pleated, 'robot' jackets were easily the most covetable (and extreme) of the pieces shown on the runway. Brown's has just got in stock two variations of this jacket, which we've been marveling at:
They're totally extraordinary pieces (despite the structured, metallic look they are, in fact, 100% silk), and you really can't help but marvel at them, but we're not sure if we're totally converted to the rather boxy silhouette, which isn't the easiest to wear. Don't get us wrong, we're big fans of extreme fashion, and we certainly don't expect everything to be dull and wearable in the way that a cropped black trench coat is, but with a price of £3,260 (approx $4,800 - but probably a little less because of the exchange rate) you really would have to consider buying this jacket as an "investment piece" (as the magazines would say), something that you'd treasure and wear for years, yet there's something about the cut which rather throws us.
As stunning as this jacket is, with its simultaneous allusions to Art Deco glamour, 1930s visions of the future, and indeed a sci-fi vision of the future itself, and with its groundbreaking design and incredible craftsmanship, when it all boils down to actually wearing it, the cut still gets to us a bit, which is a shame really, considering how otherwise amazing it is:
What do you think? If you had the cash would you dress as a sort of humanoid version of the shiny Chrysler Building? Admittedly it isn't styled very well in the picture above, so perhaps we're being unfair - how do you think it could be worn better? Or do you find the shape problematic?
Those dresses also from that collection, though, those dresses... flawless!
Jackets available from Browns.
2) Walking in the Nina Ricci FW09 Shoes
You'll undoubtedly remember the ultra-extreme, lethal, fetishistic, sky-high, skyscraper platform, partial heels (phew! - and that description hardly does them justice) from Olivier Theysken's final collection at Nina Ricci (fall/winter 2009), and like us you may have wondered how on earth the models managed to traverse the runway with no accidents/
A fun video just posted by the team of the wonderful Grazia magazine addresses the first question:
On the issue of whether we'll be able to buy them, the accompanying article (link here) seems to suggest they will be sold come autumn (also backed up by a recent post on the Love Magazine blog about them), so good news all round for fans of extreme footwear.
3) Marc Newson for G-Star
Contemporary product and furniture design star, Marc Newson, famous for his use of fluid, organic forms, has once again teamed up with Dutch denim brand G-Star to produce a small collection of limited edition pieces. And what's more, unlike certain other architect/product designer - fashion collaborations, like Zaha's Hadid's bizarre shoes for Melissa or Philippe Starck's odd sneakers for Puma, the results are actually pretty cool, and we're not left with a should have stuck with what you do best (buildings/products) type feeling:
Recently we've become increasingly interested in 'high fashion sportswear' where designers take ideas and elements from sports and athletic gear and incorporate them into their own designs, often with a reconstruction/deconstruction element, adding a luxe edge in the process... names like Yohji Yamamoto/Y-3, Dries van Noten, Undercover, and Junya Watanabe spring to mind.
Only 100 of each of these pieces, and a few more (not pictured), will be manufactured, and prices will range from €1,000 - €4,000; they'll be sold at stores like Colette and 10 Corso Como this summer. Images are from Wallpaper* - click for more information on the collaboration. See also G-Star.com.
4) Alexander McQueen SS09 Geometric Print Clutch Bags
Like us, you may have become slightly obsessed with Alexander McQueen's incredible multi-coloured geometric 'crystal' prints for spring/summer 09 (post we did about them - complete with lots of lovely pictures - here), but there's no escaping the fact that the prices for the full-on pieces are not exactly credit crunch friendly. That's where these rather fabulous clutch bags step in, for those who want to get in on the print action at a rather less wallet busting price of £255 (ok, so not exactly cheap, but a snip compared to the £1,000+ for the jackets and dresses). Available from Net-a-Porter.
5) The Smell of Summer...
The full range, including soap, body lotion, hand wash, and even perfumed wet wipes, in addition to Eau de Cologne, is available online at Hermès.com... we'll inevitably be stocking up (once we've depleted all the mini hotel toiletries we, um managed to appropriate!)