Quote of Note | Dirk Standen on Nicolas Ghesquière

Looks from the Spring 2013 Balenciaga collection, the last under Ghesquière’s creative direction.

Ghesquière is an interesting case. In many ways he has led the charge for conceptual design. Certainly he’s the one other designers look to, as is made entertainingly clear on the [now defunct] Tumblr page balenciagadiditfirst.tumblr.com. By conceptual design, I mean innovative, even challenging clothes that impress critics, create a media storm, and inspire a lot of watered-down copies–so even if you don’t sell many of the originals, you create a strong desire for your accessories. Except that, in Ghesquière’s case, women don’t just admire his clothes on slideshows on the Web, they go out and buy them. For Spring 2013, he seemed on the surface to step back from high concept. It was as if he had taken on the challenge of a simple skirt or top. He did that in his own intense way, and the result was a tough new sex appeal.”

-Style.com editor-in-chief Dirk Standen, in the season-surveying letter that opens the spring 2013 issue of Style.com/Print. The magazine arrived on newsstands today, the same day that Balenciaga and Ghesquière announced their decision to part ways at the end of this month.