“It’s my royal army,” Olivier Rousteing declared as models in black cashmere stocking caps marched into the gilded salons of the Hôtel d’Évreux, an 18th-century mansion next to the Ritz.


Indeed, there were hints of military dress in the strong-shouldered blazers and overcoats, detailed with brass buttons and regimental braiding. Balmain’s creative director had eased up on motocross and other sporty references to pursue something “more classic and elegant — the new aristocracy,” he declared.


Everything took on dressy airs, as a tuxedo morphed into a green velvet jumpsuit, and black pea coats and smoking jackets came tightly belted or sprouted fox-fur collars. Slouchy pants in glove leather or silk lapped over leather slip-on sneakers, the outsole gilded like the salon setting.


Sparkly cardigans heaving with angular crystals were strictly for editorial and the celebrity set, but expected from a designer who is besties with Kimye — who feature in Balmain’s spring 2015 campaign.