* Balenciaga dedicates collection to "children of punk"
* Says actress Charlotte Gainsbourg influenced new look
By Astrid Wendlandt
PARIS, Sept 30 The punk look epitomised by the
Clash and Sex Pistols back in the late 1970s is back and at
Balenciaga, it rocks with the added couture touch of sequins and
chic embroidered leathers.
Nicholas Guesquiere, the brand's designer known for his
futuristic allures, this time looked to the past with a
collection of perfectos, or short leather jackets, black
leggings and Dr.Martens-style boots.
"We thought we had gotten rid of the perfecto, but it's
back," said Maria Luisa Poumaillou, fashion consultant for the
Printemps department store, where she has a boutique on top of
her own Maria Luisa shops in Paris, Hong Kong and Qatar.
"He (Guesquiere) is the only man who can make couture out of
street wear, he is really ahead of everybody else."
The punk chic look, as fashionistas call it, can work with
the right dosage of modernity and elegance, as proven by the
success of Balmain, under the stewardship of Christophe
Like Decarnin, Ghesquiere has been infusing new life into
what used to be a sleepy brand and took the risk of reinventing
the fashion house's style.
For next season, Ghesquiere played back to the future with
super-imposed sleeveless tops, studded leather jackets, shiny
black leggings and metallic blue half-opened boots.
"These (women) are the children of the punk generation, or
what is left of the idea of punk," Ghesquiere told Reuters of
his 2011 spring/summer collection.
"They are also very tomboyish, very masculine."
Actress Charlotte Gainsbourg, Ghesquiere's muse and the face
of the fashion company's first perfume launched this year,
recognised herself in the new collection, he said.
"Charlotte found a lot of herself in it. It is normal as I
ask her a lot for her advice," Ghesquiere said.
On the front rows of the glitzy Crillon Hotel, also sat
actors Catherine Deneuve, Orlando Bloom and Salma Hayek, wife of
Francois-Henri Pinault, chief executive of the PPR (PRTP.PA)
group which owns the Balenciaga brand.
Balenciaga is one of PPR's fastest growing brands. About
three years ago, it was elevated to the status of a main
strategic brand within the Gucci Group alongside Gucci, Bottega
Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent which means that more resources
were allocated to it.
The fashion house has been part of Gucci Group since 2001
and profitable since 2005.
(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Matthew Jones)