Monday, 5 September 2011

At Last ... Balenciaga Arrives in Malaysia!

Before I came across the likes of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, the only Balenciaga that I know is the one sold in Sogo department store. To be precise, the one that boasts a collection of canvas or jacquard bags and purses infested with tiny "B" logo all over and not the infamous Motorcycle or Lariat bag. 

It was only in the (not so) recent years, which after my encounter with the said magazines began; I started to know the 'real' Balenciaga — the one that was founded by late Cristobal Balenciaga, a celebrated haute couturier from Spain.  

I remember reading about his infamous creations (does anyone remember the big, round space age collared coats) and dressing the likes of celebrities and royalties from all over the world. Oh, not to forget the Motorcycle bag, which I was not too keen on when it was first introduced.  

Somehow, I pledged my allegiance to the brand quite recently, thanks to an impulsive purchase of a slim fit casual shirt in dark blue by Balenciaga from Mr. Porter. Well, it was a steal indeed and still hanging in my wardrobe, untouched like a virgin and still waiting patiently for the right time (and event) to be unveiled to the fashion stratosphere. 

Now, after successfully swooning fashionistas in the neighbouring cities of Singapore, Bangkok, Manila and even Ho Chi Minh City, the brand finally make its mark here in Kuala Lumpur with its first ever store. 

That said, rest assured that by now, the Motorcycle and Lariat bag connoisseurs, as well as die-hard fans of Nicholas Ghesquière are already perching high on the cloud nine. Reason being, they don't have to take an hour's flight to either the Lion City or Hong Kong to stock their favourite Balenciaga accessories and clothes!

Located at the ground floor of the swanky Suria KLCC — a perfect starting point for the historical yet dynamic fashion maison in Kuala Lumpur — the store will carry a selection of ready-to-wear and of course, the highly coveted accessories and shoes for the fairer sex.  

That said, male fashionistas who are big fans of Balenciaga might have to fly to other cities in the world with either a menswear store or a store that carries full-range Balenciaga for men products such as New York, Los Angeles, Kobe, Hangzhou and Seoul to list a few.

Like other Balenciaga stores around the globe, the interior of the Kuala Lumpur store will certainly reflect the maison’s dynamism and innovative facets with geometrical approach in all aspects, be it on the layout and the furnishing. Okay, while we anticipate for the store to open, which will be soon, let us check out what does Nicholas Ghesquière have in store for the current FW2011-12 season. 

Dominated by monotonous working palette and spiced up with tinges of pink, blue, red, purple and brown as well as prints, Ghesquière plays about with the idea of proportions. 

Dark-hued coats and vests — some look chunky and glossy, as if the materials used are blown like twisted balloons before being plaited to create the pieces; others are crafted from glossy hides ala biker jackets, sans the copious studs — are overlaid atop translucent net tops (some with leather shoulder pads) and lush printed ensembles.

Coats and vests aside, the skirts, mostly made from matte black fabric, feature pieces of shiny fabric (most probably leather) adornment on the hems. Besides adopting colour blocking, Ghesquière also captured the fashion critics’ attention with thorough application of netting such as a leather-hemmed net dress worn over capped-sleeve A-line dress and a top of similar style over a plain white top or a plain white knee high skirt.   

A few attention-grabbing sculptural pieces — dresses, to be exact — looking like fabric collages with cascading ruffles and gold piping trim, as well as some colour-block mod-inspired pieces are also included in the collection as well. 

If you are the trouser-wearing type, then do not forget to stock the straight leg trousers with gold pipe trim in a burst of warm colours. Believe me; they are warm enough to heat your thoroughly air-conditioned offices or living rooms!

But clothing aside, the towering heels in full, buttery leather straps with antique baroque motif for details, as well as braided — or knitted — patent/printed bags with metallic chain mail straps are absolutely the de rigueur accessories for the FW2011 season. Yes, you could never go wrong with those.   


Balenciaga’s fall/winter ready-to-wear and accessories will be available at Balenciaga boutique in Suria KLCC.

*Photos by Monica Feudi/Gianni Pucci/Style.com

Balenciaga – Lot G02B/C, Ground Floor, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, 50800 Kuala Lumpur.

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