Balmain

July 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Olivier Rousteing found a recent trip to Los Angeles endlessly inspiring. Not necessarily the landscape or the architecture, both of which are gorgeous enough, but the people and what he described as their generosity and playfulness. In L.A., he said, “they embrace fashion, not like in Paris, where they’re in fashion, so they run away from it.” Rousteing used the experience as a jumping-off point for his Resort collection, which blended the globalism of his Fall show for Balmain with a seventies vibe.

The season’s key item was the poncho, the outerwear of choice for all things wild and free. Rousteing’s came lavishly beaded in Native American motifs, or more low-key in sweatshirt fleece. If embracing different cultures and mixing ethnicities are important messages for the designer, diversifying the price point is essential for the company. That’s one reason you’ll find a big emphasis here on knits. Especially fab were a pair of graphic
black-and-white chevron-stripe high-waisted flares worn with a snug sleeveless shell. Stretchy knit lace separates were as body-con as anything Rousteing has done, but more covered up.

Discretion will never be the Balmain way, but hemlines are getting longer, and Rousteing seems genuinely jazzed about the prospect of his gals wearing their leather slipdresses over leather pants. It remains to be seen if they’ll go along for the ride, but it was satisfying to see the designer confidently stretching the boundaries of the brand.
—Nicole Phelps
Runway Feed

Pierre Balmain

September 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Runway Feed

Balmain

August 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Olivier Rousteing has developed a bit of an America fixation. A year ago, at a presentation of his first collection for Balmain, he was talking about Las Vegas. When he was working on this Resort lineup, a trip to Miami made a big impression. You saw it not only in its South Beach colors (yellow, peach, and mint) and oversize Don Johnson proportions, but also in its Latin influences. “I’m mixed race, too,” he said, “so it was beautiful to see the connection between Cuba and the U.S. there.”

“Fun, happiness, and hope” were the endearingly earnest Rousteing’s talking points for Resort, and we’d say he nailed all three, without killing off the sexy edge that defined the Balmainia moment under his predecessor, Christophe Decarnin.

The key silhouette here was an elongated blazer that buttoned well south of the navel and fell to about the hips, worn with loose, pleated, and cuffed trousers. There was no such oversizing with the dresses, though, which remained as mini as mini gets. Rousteing is really getting behind a silhouette with a folded-over skirt construction that creates a flaring volume at the sides of the thighs. He also gets this season’s prize for novelty for a dress made from basket-weave raffia.
—Nicole Phelps
Runway Feed