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Balenciaga: Valkyries From Mars
Paris - Things went a little inside out at Balenciaga in Saint Germain on Tuesday, Sept. 30, where the interior structures from the time honoured metier of haute couture were re-thought to make the latest, exciting futurist statement by the house's designer Nicolas Ghesquiere.

Using strapping usually employed to support light couture gowns as exterior forms of decoration and reinforcement was a typically quirky idea from Ghesquiere, and one whose result was a genuinely new and innovative collection from high fashion's most original voice.

Superficially the clothes recalled Sci-Fi TV series like "Lost in Space" and "Star Trek," but on closer examination, the novelty of the silhouettes and finishes took the collection somewhere we had never been before in fashion. Also chillingly new were the silver metallic astrakhan bomber jackets, and a series of dimpled and ergonomic mono-color tunics that were sensationally chic.

Staged on a computer graphic carpet with Bjork screaming on the soundtrack, the show also featured seven men's looks, intergalactic dandies with a faintly priestly air in taut suits and religious collars.

This season, designers have been aping satellite shapes and surfaces, but Ghesquiere took the notion to its logical conclusion with sequined satellite boleros that boasted his own inimitable look and whispered Balenciaga. Nicolas also kept it extra-terrestrial with hosiery that finished by enveloping clubfoot high heels and jackets whose arms had built in gloves.

"I've been in the future for some time now. But this time I got there via couture," smiled Ghesquiere, as well-wishers waited patiently to congratulate him.