There is a reason that Olivier Rousteing has reimagined Balmain so successfully. He may be young and seemingly in KK overload but his collections tell a different story. He is focused, he has a vision and he evolves rather than trying to reinvent the wheel every season. If the biggest and latest trend is gender bending as in what supposedly happened at Gucci, then, Balmain is an example of how to do it in the most tasteful and palatable way without looking like a bad joke or a pile of thrift store rags.
Balmain is sexy, rock n roll, louche, modern, trendy, classic, true to its designer’s DNA and amazingly appealing! What I love about the collection is that it spans so many looks and so many ideas that when picked apart there are pieces that might appeal to a hedgie as well as hipster. The leather is lush, the bouillon embroidery is sumptuous and of course there is the beading that is beyond exquisite. The beaded jackets may be reminiscent of those worn by one’s mother but Rousteing manages to make them work... surely not on every one but for sure those who can afford the hefty price tags. The gold belts and accents are wildly chic when handled so sparingly and Rousteing for sure hits a high note with the footwear. I would be loath to admit that I would kill for the shoes.
Okay, before things get carried away here, let’s talk about the theatricality, faded film star quality or drama of the collection from its presentation to its design to its styling. It is mighty impressive across the board and while some of it is over the top … No matter as there is so much that is simply beautiful and wearable... from coats and separates to a new take on a puffer jacket. Did I mention that these clothes do not disappoint when you see them in a store... they are of superb quality which sort of … only sort of... ameliorates the price!
In the end... He could do Gucci blindfolded but thankfully he put his talent to better use here at Balmain.
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