I still distinctly remember the first time I "discovered" Balenciaga: Nicolas Ghesquière had set the fashion world on fire with his über chic reinvention of blazers, scarves and jodhpurs that I continue to love to this day. I have never seen anything more brilliant and was utterly floored by the way the collection was filtered down into the masses and mainstream fashion. I swore he made people "rediscover" the power of a great blazer. The collection was quirky in its cut colour choices, but still familiar enough due to the traditional pieces of blazers and khaki, which made an incredible combo and accounts for its wide popularity. Ghesquière had made consistent collections for the label since, but none of his later works were nearly as memorable (save for the S/S 2008 floral armour dresses).
I came across this season's collection while trying to look up Carven's new collection. I was blown away because a) of its simplicity and b) wearability. Ghesquière's design ever since the Fall 2007 collection had become increasingly un-wearable, albeit still interesting, so this sudden return to minimalist wearability came as a surprise. I'm not exactly sure if it's riding on the wave of minimalism ushered in by Raf Simons at Dior, with the return of Jil Sander and raging popularity of Miuccia Prada and Phoebe Philo, but I LOVE what I see. I'm not trying to accuse Ghesquière of selling out, but he has already shown he can do avant-garde so why not try to keep it fresh by doing the unexpected? I don't know if this particular collection have making the rounds in the blogosphere that you've already seen this ad nauseum (sorry first midterm season = no time to read blogs + being a bad blogger friend), however if you have time you should check out the whole collection and read Hamish Bowle's review, here. Here's to the end of the month and have a great time celebrating Oktoberfest! ;)
Edit: Balenciaga has Suzy Menkes' seal of approval.