They are here, then they’re there and before you know it they have been just about everywhere. Fashion has become an almost game of somewhat musical chairs, with designers moving from one label to another and name sake labels being abandoned by their founders and seemingly loyal owners. Forgivably some of the latest changes amongst fashions most adored houses have been applauded and recognisably beneficial for the industry, it’s good to mix things up now and again and fashion is all for change. The most recent game of fashions musical chairs is taking place in the heart of Paris; just before the next season in February for Fall 2014.
When Nicolas Ghesquière left Balenciaga after his Spring 2013 collection for the French fashion power house, his destination was vastly unknown in the industry. Whilst assured that he would go on to do even greater things; it was the question of who would take his place as designer for Balenciaga that pursed everyone’s lips. His successor came in the unlikely form of American designer, Alexander Wang. Wang, known for his own New York label, is all about cool. He designs for the international girl who has everything and goes everywhere; she’s undeniably cool and Super Street. It was a worry amongst the editors, critics, buyers and previous Balenciaga fans that Wang could not translate his own vision into a historically crafted and extremely luxurious Parisian fashion house. For Fall 2013 Alexander Wang made his debut and the front row waited with baited breath; undoubtedly he rose to the occasion and sent out a collection that was so respectful of the houses DNA and codes yet so true to what he himself believes in when designing clothes. The cocoon shape was still there with architectural shapes and that hint of crisp slate fabrics and finishing; but with Wang’s passion for modern technology and emphasis on street wear. This was most convincing in a cocoon fox fur chubby camo jumper or the marble turtle knit sweaters, hand knitted and then hand painted. Two collections in and Alexander Wang is proving that he perhaps was the right choice after all; the craftsmanship hasn’t gone but the clothes feel more sincere and wearable thanks to his knowledge and true understanding of the real modern girl in fashion.
Nicolas Ghesquière has moved on still; and secured a new title that will surely see French fashion take a step in an even more admirable direction. From one luxe Paris label to another Ghesquière has just been appointed design director of Louis Vuitton following Marc Jacobs departure. When one door closes another one opens; whilst the change up felt a little bitter sweet; given that Marc Jacobs practically made Vuitton the label it is today the news that Ghesquière will continue in his footsteps is encouraging . Both designers know French fashion like the back of their hand; but more importantly they know how to design clothes that work in an international context. Take Nicolas Ghesquière and his Spring 2012 for Balenciaga along with Marc Jacobs Spring 2013 for Vuitton both became international successes. Whether it was Balenciaga and their silk jackets and asymmetric vests tucked into cigarette pants or Louis Vuitton’s sequinned check playsuits or cropped bandeau tops; the bottom line is these men know how to dress women who can afford to pick from fashions most luxurious pack.