If this had been announced literally 2 months earlier, I would have had a very different feeling towards it than I do now. As I said in my Spring/Summer 2013 review, I finally wholeheartedly understood Balenciaga's appeal after its Spring 2013 collection. I had always appreciated Balenciaga's innovation, but it never produced collections that I considered to be among the best. Luckily, Balenciaga managed to open my eyes to what I hadn't been able to see all these years: the beauty of designs that speak to constantly changing possibilities. Ghesquière's designs were always graphic and unconventional, and I blindly mistook them to be too technical. After Spring 2013, I finally understood that Ghesquière was actually moving along with the times - with a very keen eye, might I add.
Unluckily for me, just as I was starting to look forward to following Balenciaga more closely, this announcement came along. As it usually is with these kind of announcements, I was shocked, saddened, incredulous - probably the reaction of everybody else in the fashion world. Some people may have never liked Ghesquière at Balenciaga, but if so, they have most definitely been dwarfed by the majority of us that do. Ever since I started getting into fashion, I have never heard anything but praise for Ghesquière.
Over the summer, having read a couple of fashion coffee table books, I actually did question what attraction Ghesquière had considering how he had completely changed the image of the Balenciaga label. Looking at Cristóbal Balenciaga's designs, I saw something completely different. But now that I think about it, Ghesquière has been on the right track all along. Both designers fully explore construction and volume. Back in Balenciaga's time, his designs would have been innovative just as Ghesquière's designs are now. In fact, Balenciaga's brand has never been about an image, but about keeping up with (and surpassing) changing conventions, truly transcending time.
Image Source: Photo 1, 2, 3