"he was the source of a true renaissance, possibly the greatest talent we have ever had." Olivier Saillard
Let's not be too past tense about Nicolas Ghesquiere - he is still alive after all. But we can mourn his passing at the house of Balenciaga. His creativity on the runway may have interfered with the commercial aspects that the owners of Balenciaga were more focused on.
In an interview in System magazine, excerpted on the Buisness of Fashion, Ghesquiere said "The strongest pieces that we made for the catwalk got ignored by the business people. They forgot that in order to get to that easily sellable biker jacket, it had to go via a technically mastered piece that had been shown on the catwalk. I started to become unhappy when I realized that there was no esteem, interest, or recognition for the research I had done; they only cared about what the merchandisable result would look like. This accelerated desire meant they ignored the fact that all of the pieces that remain the most popular today are from collections we made ten years ago. They have become classics and will carry on being so."
It seems those comments have gotten Ghesquiere into trouble with the powers that be at his former company and they are suing him. Where there is fashion, there is drama.
The fashion drama I love at RARE vintage is seeing an actual runway piece by Ghesquiere for Balenciaga. Now that is some major drama! The runway pieces were like couture - beautifully and amazingly crafted - technically intricate - and you really do see the research and how Ghesquiere challenged himself to create something that was fashion in its purest form. I am going to drop the A word here: Art. Fashion is an art form but instead of hanging it on a wall we hang it on our bodies.
Fashion for collectors. Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga. Fall 2007. I wish everyone could see how crazy beautiful this piece is. The work is astonishing and it really makes you gasp. Available now at RARE vintage...
You can't really tell from the photos but this is a quilted silk appliqué on the back of the jacket: