Sexy doesn’t stop at a body-con dress. That’s the message from Olivier Rousteing, who’s steering the Balmain client towards a more “slouchy, oversized, relaxed silhouette,” as the designer said during a walk-through yesterday of his full resort collection (several looks had already walked the runway during the men’s spring show last week).


Through a luxurious, Seventies filter inspired by Guy Bourdin’s bold fashion photography, Rousteing sought to capture “that feeling of when you are on a beach waiting for the sunrise and the night is never-ending” in swimsuit-riffing silhouettes that channeled the confident style of the era’s glamazons like Bianca Jagger, Iman and Veruschka. “I call that my beachwear,” said the designer of a fluid, leg-lengthening white crepe-satin pantsuit with long “pareo-inspired” panels on the pants and a halter-neck top that flowed into a dresslike train at the back, “like wrapping your towel around your neck.” Off-the-shoulder ruffled dresses, patchwork silk ponchos and the new suit silhouette, with cape sleeves, a belted jacket that ties like a kimono and shoulder cutouts, also oozed beach life à la Balmain.


But all this doesn’t mean dropping the glam factor. Rousteing poured on the hot hues, from a night-sky glittering black gown in a graphic weave of colored beaded bands to multicolored crochet and macramé minis and disco-edged, second-skin jumpsuits with shoulder cut-outs and slits at the leg, a continuation of the pareo theme. Rocking a haute-hippie mood, a hand-beaded striped “gitane” gown was to die for.


“The colors are really inspired by the sky, the feeling that there’s no limit. The way I feel with Balmain right now is that it’s a new day, there’s a new story to tell,” said Rousteing, his characteristic optimism further boosted by having a new owner on board, Qatar-based Mayhoola for Investments. With this collection, “I wanted to celebrate the new chapter we’re going to write.”

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