Balmain may be looking to widen its reach, but Olivier Rousteing, as the house’s figurehead, ultimately designs for himself, with his spirit running through every single piece that goes down his runway, take it or leave it.
And that was the message this season, with the designer reinforcing everything the brand is known for, revisiting house classics like the short jacket, the tight pants, the military jacket and the marinière in a torrent of metallic, glittery embellishments. The direction was echoed in the women’s looks, which were hooked on signature sexy, thigh-skimming dresses.
Sticking to his skinny, square-shoulder silhouette, military — one of the season’s key trends — was a major theme, but more for the embellishments than a utilitarian mood, with plays on pockets, zips and lacing on a run of khaki green bombers and bikers.
With sax’ on the soundtrack, “Blade Runner”-esque outfits included a double-breasted belted plastic jacket with the neon lights of an urban night landscape print glowing through. Black vinyl enhanced the after-dark mood, sometimes as a total look.
Where the collection shone, though, was in the latter run of simpler, young-at-heart, more minimalist spins, like the glittery mesh T-shirt, a beaded black and silver baseball T-shirt that swished as it moved, and a glittery two-tone bib-front shirt. The shimmering had a lightness to it while retaining the Balmain glitz.