Only in the spectacularly conspicuous world of Balmain could baby-blue quilted leather trousers with giant gold buttons and a matching, pearl-studded blouse qualify as restrained. That was the truth this season at Olivier Rousteing’s spring show, where he continued to carry the torch for hyperluxed nostalgia. This should have surprised no one who was paying attention during resort, when Rousteing introduced the look that revolved around bomber jackets, denim and quilting galore, all of it subjected to elaborate embellishment and exaggeration for the runway.
Still a cartoonish send-up of early Nineties uberfashion before minimalism extinguished the excess — Chanel, Versace, Gaultier — in its proliferation of the big gold buttons, blown-up houndstooth and gingham, and winks at suiting à la Coco, the collection was a vast improvement over Rousteing’s last show. Bomber jackets and sweatshirts are a staple these days, with overalls on the comeback to relevancy; Rousteing’s versions flaunted impressive embellishments that were orange yet tempered by sporty silhouettes.
His bids for eveningwear, such as gilded overalls and an aqua-blue mini with a molded bodice, quilted sleeves and flared feathered skirt, had a young, modern spirit with a real red-carpet future.