>> One of the names that has been bandied about in the Balenciaga succession pot is Kostas Murkudis, the quiet Berlin-based veteran who was once the first assistant to Helmut Lang. His work has been dotted on the blog throughout the years despite the fact that a) I've never met him and b) I hardly ever see his work in person and yet somehow, because I have this one vintage slip of a Kostas Murkudis dress lurking in my wardrobe, which I bought in Berlin ages ago. I've got very specific ideas as to who I think would be suitable to succeed Ghesquière and frankly Murkudis isn't one of them for me.
That said, I'm always up for appreciating his work independent of the rumour mill, and this season, he's gone vid/GIF mad with his collection of concealing and revealing with the use of sheers and plastics and stiffened fabrics. Like in a lot of collections in general, you could read a few Ghesquière tropes in his work - innovative use of material, away-from-the-body structures and sci-fi-esque sensuality (although I suspect with Murkudis' longtime experience, the similarities result from natural development rather than direct plagiarism). Here lies the crux in selecting Ghesquière's successor. Surely, the key would be to choose someone who hasn't dabbled in the language that is so associated with Ghesquière (regardless of who actually came up with certain ideas first, somehow it's easier to say that "Balenciaga did it First") and hasn't turned out a collection that is just a mish-mash of what Ghesquière has done in the past. To choose someone with a fresh point of view and someone that can carve a completely different chapter in the house of Balenciaga would be far more exciting than simply instilling someone who can carry on rehashing Ghesquière-isms in the way that more than a few contemporary designers do today. Murkudis may or may not be in the mix but as it stands, viewed on its own, one can appreciate the vitality of his work. When matched up to Ghesquière's tenure at Balenciaga however, it just becomes a pedantic game of compare-and-contrast. This seems to also be the case with a few of the other candidates that have been mentioned in connection with the job.
Anyhow, it seems Murkudis has taken on the creative directorship of another label Closed so the rumour may be a weak one. All the better then that I can carry on appreciating his work in its own capacity.