Paris notes: Balenciaga and Zac Posen turn fashion classics on their ears [gallery]

Stella Tennant walks in the Balenciaga Spring 2011 show. Photography by Peter Stigter

Fashion’s future and past went head-to-head, back-to-back yesterday and it was no contest. Both Zac Posen and Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga took fashion classics and turned them on their ear. But where Posen’s ostrich plumes trapped between layers of black chiffon seemed trite, Ghesquière’s richly-engineered fabrics in bold patterns with swerving seams were deeply satisfying. He said he wanted to bring out the man in every woman and he did. But the results were neither masculine nor feminine, but something in between.

Other touchpoints of the day: Balmain’s stud and safety-pin spree; Rick Owens’ aerodynamic draping; Nina Ricci’s feminine frills; Barbara Bui’s sexy safari looks.

See a gallery of looks from yesterday’s shows»

Read our full coverage of the Spring 2011 collections»

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