>> Nicolas Ghesquiere's Spring 2011 model cast grabbed as much attention — if not more — than the clothes; and it seems that he devoted just as much time curating his model troupe as designing this season.
In June, the Balenciaga team started a street casting tour: in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Belgium, and Australia, eventually turning up seven girls — Ghesquiere called them "characters" — a dancer, an artist . . . all willing to have their hair bleached or dyed black and cut into a punky crop specifically for the show. Alongside those girls — among them was Alexander Wang opener Britt Maren — the cast included a parade of notables: Stella Tennant, Amber Valletta, Carolyn Murphy, a pregnant Miranda Kerr, with Gisele Bündchen closing. "I was sick of the clone-model thing," the designer offered as explanation, adding: "It's about individuality."
The show also explored “bringing out the man that is in every woman,” according to the designer, who sourced the collection's houndstooth pattern from a 1965 Cristobal Balenciaga silk column dress. Also featured: in his first time since joining Balenciaga, Ghesquiere did flats, creeper-style.