On Balenciaga and going beyond the LBD

Nina Garcia and her ilk can have their "perfect little black dress" and "classic trench" and "timeless nude kitten heels." Really: I'm so over this adulation of Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn and the concept of "investment pieces" of clothing.

Being that one of my vices is a taste for fashion magazines, I'm up on the latest designer clothing offerings. The past few years have been full of duds, in my opinion: everyone has been trying to play it safe due to the bad economy. My thinking is, if you're on a really tight budget and can only buy one thing per season, why would you buy something completely boring-- another iteration of what you already have in your closet?

Even if I had all the disposable income in the world, I'd still shop primarily at consignment stores and places with reasonable prices and ethical manufacturing practices like American Apparel. Once or twice a year, I'd buy select designer pieces that are actually bits of art from a distinct moment in time-- things that can't possibly be aptly replicated by Banana Republic

I've already done this a little: In college, I decided to splurge on my first "designer" handbag. After considering a bunch of neutral colored purses from the likes of Kate Spade and Coach, I went with the graffiti-inspired L.A.M.B. bag pictured here:



It couldn't have possibly been more 2003, but I actually still think that's what's cool about it.

What I've seen in Harper's Bazaar and Elle of Balenciaga's current collection has stoked my long-dormant desire for truly unique fashion. I read that the designer Nicolas Ghesquière's inspirations included "cosmonauts, seventies Formica, packaging and food boxes, synthetic foam, and plywood." It's bananas, and I absolutely love it.

If I could, I'd buy several pairs of Balenciaga's Fall 2010 shoes-- some to wear now, and others to put on ice for myself and future generations.  I really think they're that special.

Comments
By katy at 10:19 p.m. Sept. 14, 2010
Well said, Colleen, especially regarding the style "icons", Audrey and Jackie O.! Love the Balenciaga shoes, but would hate to walk in them (although I'm sure I would try and would smile while doing so). And have you been to Skunkfunk? I recently discovered it while ambling through the Mission and fell in love. :) Hope you guys are well!
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