It's never easy guessing Tao's origin of inspiration. Some say Tao is inspired by Russia or Scandinavia, some say Turkey. When asked about this collection she said she was not inspired by any particular geographic location, but by cake decorations. She later revealed that she was inspired by an Eastern European city, but not which one. Whatever the case, the whimsical and folkloric clothing showed a darker side to ribbons and embroidery. The large velvet bows that adorned the models heads, the silly proportions, the Frida Kahlo-like make-up swept across the model's brows. It's a whole new world with Tao.
Balenciaga is usually my favorite show. The architectural fabrics transform into sleek luxurious articles of clothing every time. I think that Nicolas Ghesquière does a great job of keeping the original Balenciaga in mind when he designs. No other designer is able to convey a piece of clothing so architectural but so wearable at the same time. It seems that Ghesquière took a new route this time and went rather the opposite of highly structural, the enemy: draping. But if this is really draping, it's draping like you've never seen it before. A skirt made of draping shows rows and rows of satin, silk, and velvet perfectly aligned to each other. It's imperial, like something a space-age empress from the North would wear. Later in the show, jodhpurs, a Balenciaga classic emerged. But these were different, new. As with the skirts, the side of the pants were beautifully draped. "A bit India" as Ghesquière said himself. The silk print dresses were as constant as they were classic during the show. It was like a look inside the Balenciaga archives.