It's not with every collection that sex appeal and extreme craftsmanship go hand in hand, but then again Nicolas Ghesquiere isn't every designer. His Spring 2013 collection for Balenciaga was filled with clothes that looked (and in fact were) light, almost airy, and easy to wear — despite the massive amounts of thought, research, construction, and finishing that went into every piece.
The main message here was that skin is in — but so is strength and attention to detail. So while a variety of bralette tops and midriff-baring shirts exposed their wearer's stomachs and decolletages, they also showed off Ghesquiere's ability to embellish without really embellishing. There were fabrics that looked like tweeds but were really just embroidered with a pattern that suggested the thicker wool material. There were dresses made of a leaf-shaped guipure lace pattern that was so shiny it almost looked like leather. There were handkerchief-hemmed miniskirts that were actually shorts. And who could forget the suiting that, for all its masculine tailoring and sharp, aggressive energy, was actually sewn together for a woman's lithe curves.