Balenciaga Belle

Joana Preiss entwines her music with Nicolas Ghesquiere's designer threads.

It makes sound sense that 33-year-old Gallic actress-cum-songstress Joana Preiss turns to Balenciaga’s Nicolas Ghesquière for her killer stage style. Since first hitting it off with the designer while modeling for him back in 2000, the indie “It” girl has made Balenciaga her second skin. “We met at a very special moment in our lives, and our relationship is quite fusional,” says Ghesquière. “Joana knows what she wants,” adds the designer, who’s whipped up stage wardrobes for music majors from Madonna to Marianne Faithfull. “She’s a Balenciaga girl and very inspirational — contemporary and alternative with a wild elegance.”

For Preiss, who draws musical inspiration from art, landscapes and even bird and animal noises, the feeling is mutual. “I can’t separate my music from [Ghesquière’s] designs,” she says, revealing her fall must-have as Balenciaga’s coveted fur-trimmed duffle coat. “His clothes make me feel more confident and beautiful on stage.”

After making her musical mark in underground circles as the vocalist for French electronic act White Tahina, Preiss is currently recording her debut solo album. She describes it as experimental pop laced with a Seventies-era synthesizer. Also in the pipeline is a role in Berlin-based director Pia Marais’ film, with the working title of “August,” scheduled for release next fall.

This story first appeared in the September 8, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.