Summer 2013 issue
Like many of the dedicated designers who strongly identify with their former creative director, firebrand actress Kristen Stewart knows a fellow renegade when she meets one; Stewart, an ambassador for the brand's second new fragrance Florabotanica, admires Ghesquière. She wore the opening look from Spring/Summer 2013 to the L.A. premiere of On the Road, days before PPR's fateful announcement. Unhampered and lively on the phone, she sketched a portrait of Ghesquière worthy of the beatniks: "He is a reminder of how fucking annoying everyone else is. It’s not easy to walk a line that not every single person in the world is going to get in a second. Nicolas is the sort of person who loves swimming in rough water."
Stewart's vision of Ghesquière, which she has gleaned from engagements like a joint appearance at the 2012 Costume Institute Gala, is as infectious as it insightful. "He's most comfortable when he's terrified," she tells me about her exchange with Ghesquière backstage at what was to be his last trip down the runway for Balenciaga, "I was like, ‘Dude, are you okay?’ and he was like (in a French accent), ‘Yes. Yes. I will tell you soon, but there are things happening.’ Before I left, he was like, ‘All right, I'll tell you.’ I’m so fucking proud of him because what he was about to do would rock people’s worlds. He was just like, ‘Believe for me.’ I thought it was the coolest fucking thing."
Every collection, in that sense, offers a hypothesis about a woman's identity in the contemporary world. "I’ve felt the happiest I’ve ever felt wearing these clothes. I’ve also felt androgynous and rigid. Sort of like you’re wearing a fucking building," says Kristen Stewart. Thanks to Ghesquière, Stewart has learned that fashion doesn't necessarily conceal like a mask but can spark aspects of one's personality that are otherwise sedated: "You can play any character you can imagine in these clothes."
"I just don't want him to have his hands stuffed in his pockets, sitting down like he's resting from a fight. No, I think it should be his fucking thing. I mean if you're going to do it, do it young. Don't add on to someone else's life." - Kristen Stewart
Nicolas Ghesquière on Kristen:
"Florabotanica was the second fragrance and with this one I asked them to name the target: They said, 'It has to be very young and to relate your fashion, Ghesquière for Balenciaga.' I met Kristen Stewart on a Bruce Weber shooting when she was 13-years-old and we got along well. I loved her. A few years ago I did her dress for the Twilight (2008) premiere. We weren't friends, but we had a connection. She's perfect for Balenciaga if you want a younger audience, I told them. She's totally sensual and sexy but she's tomboyish. She's not afraid to the popular, even commercial but she's also punk."
(May 1st 2013) NYMag - 032c also gave the Cut an exclusive additional quote from Stewart:
"The look on his face after that show, he had this look like he was actually the kid who was being told he wasn't allowed to do something. And he was totally not going to stand for it, and I was like, 'I will totally run away with you.'"