What needs to be said first is that the most unfortunate part here is that Olivier Rousteing and Balmain will forever be inextricably linked to KK in my mind and that diminishes their achievements.
Well it was a feast for the eyes or maybe a visual extravaganza but most importantly it was all about fashion and how a young man redefined and reimagined a house/brand and did it successfully. What intrigues me most about Rousteing is that he has this very modern sense of glamour that is deeply rooted in the past or history of fashion. He successfully channels what was into what is and that alone is a HUGE talent. He is talented beyond his years and hope that he can continue on this path which will lead to a very long and glorious future.
Okay now collection time ... pleating, wrapping/draping, color blocking and tailoring are all in place. His fringe signature is played out to amazing lengths including one helluva fringed jacket. The multi colors are extravagantly lush as well as are the solid pieces. The “little” ruffled skirt is predominant whether in skirt or dress as is his signature “bandaging.” I think the message is clear that Rousteing has built on top of what he started and consequently delivers amazingly strong collections because of it. He has a look …. He has a signature ... the clothes are distinctly his and recognizable!
As for his sex appeal, I think depending on whom you ask, the reply would be quite different. To me, they are sexy and overtly hot, much in the fashion that Ungaro of the 80’s delivered that quality. What gets messy is those lace pieces which look too Fredericks of Hollywood and not enough tasteful. His prints are nothing to write home about but he manages to offer an alternative to the hot to trot pieces. While on the topic of possible deficits, there is always that overriding image of KK wearing any of it making it look as cheap as free lunch or a wardrobe for those girls who sell love by the hour!
In the end, Balmain is an acquired taste and make no mistake this is not a collection for those who wish to blend in but it is a collection that stands out in a sea of sameness and applauds a designer who designs and doesn’t espouse. Or ... in other words the clothes speak for themselves!