Flashback - Balenciaga - Fall 2005

From the moment Raquel Zimmermann stepped out, bare-faced with her hair pulled back, wearing the boldest, most severely elegant duffel coat I have seen to this day, I knew this Balenciaga collection was one to remember. Although Ghesquière hasn't made my heart race with a collection since Fall 2008 (which I will cover in a later post), I still fondly remember the utter power and influence he had in fashion throughout the past decade, wherein every collection seemed somehow more breathtakingly innovative and unexpected than the last. As a fan of his strict, impeccable tailoring and his futurist approach to fabric and silhouette, he was hands-down my favorite designer for at least five solid years. Balenciaga collections were the birthplace of some massive trends, including the resurgence of floral prints and the rise of gladiator sandals.

Fall 2005 steered my taste towards trim, militaristic statement coats for years to come. In camel, mint, and cream, with massive swaths of fur trim, the opening looks look as smart now as they did 7 years ago. Fantastically tailored pants paired with surprisingly feminine blouses and beaver-trimmed jackets made a strong case for daywear and looked ready for the sales floor. Beautifully draped and gathered dresses mixed dusty rose, pale lemon and sky shades of chiffon with black trim, followed by a series of dresses in stiff gazar bursting with marabou and mousseline at the bust. The show represented the perfect balance between Cristobal's couture influence and Ghesquière's own dreamy sci-fi enchantment, all while retaining a strong sense of both desirability and wearability. Other shows would sometimes veer too closely to one side or the other, but this collection was a runaway hit.

Check out the entire collection at style.com