Pre-Fall 2015 and followed by Fall 2015
Olivier Rousteing may have a Balmain army, as he likes to say on his very active Instagram account, but with a new store bowing in London's Mayfair next week and a shop in Soho expected to open in New York before the end of 2015, it's one he has to keep building. "You can't put Balmain in a box," he said amid the bustle of his showroom. With an eye to expanding his customer base, he touched on something new in his four-year stint at the house: flowers.
Rousteing inherited a label known for hard-edged glamour—emphasis on hard. Over time, he's played up the glam side of things, the disco knits from Spring being the most recent example. For Pre-Fall, his floral prints in hothouse shades of red and ultraviolet had a louche, overgrown quality. Fluid, generously cut flares and backless halter-neck tops made you think of Jerry Hall and Guy Bourdin, while a fitted blazer in the red version of the print and a matching draped silk skirt seemed destined to be a hit with the street-style crowd. The news was the softness. See the pleated jumpsuits cinched with wide belts high on the waist (he mentioned Madame Grès), the slouchy black velvet evening pj's, and an oversize cashmere coat that wrapped and belted like a robe. With the '70s trending everywhere, Balmain is in good company, but that's not to say Rousteing is following. The collection looked very much like him, with rich touches such as long fringes of beads and gold-dipped pleats. We expect him to continue down this path on his Fall runway in March.
> Nicole Phelps
>January 27, 2015
> Sarah Mower
>January 27, 2015 9:58 am
Olivier Rousteing says his pre-fall for Balmain is moving toward more fluidity, in his mind, the Parisian louchness of the seventies. Read floaty super-wide-leg jumpsuits in poppy prints of “the sort of wallpaper patterns you can still find in restaurants in Paris,” he laughs. It’s another step along the way in his mission to invent a look for Balmain that doesn’t have to do with short, body-con, hyper-embellished dresses. Not to say that element doesn’t still exist in the line, or the wide-shouldered, brass-buttoned sharply tailored blazers which have been around since before Rousteing took over from Christophe Decarnin. Both continue as Balmain sells.
True, times have changed for this brand. Rousteing’s found a new generational constituency, made friends with Rihanna and Kanye and Kim Kardashian West, and put them all in Balmain’s advertising. You can’t knock that global reach, in itself a rare thing for a Parisian house that doesn’t belong to a giant corporation. What next? Maybe working on showing some things that could count as casual daywear would add some energy, and some lower price tags, so that the kids who follow Balmain might be able to afford a piece or two. With only a few weeks to go before his fall show, maybe that’s something for Rousteing to think about.
>Balmain Pre-Fall 2015
>By Laurent Folcher
Confident about adding a touch of romance to his pre-fall collection for Balmain, Olivier Rousteing introduced his first flower prints for the house. A painterly, wallpaperlike motif of anemones and buttercups in bright red or blue appeared all over velvet jackets with matching fluid dresses, as well as on a long gown and his palazzo pants — a look he is clearly pushing.
Channeling the glamour of Seventies Parisian couture, silhouettes didn’t forsake the label’s signature sexiness, but they were loosened up in terms of shape. With nary a shoulder pad in sight, except for in a sleek jumpsuit whose torso was draped in black jersey knit over polka-dotted tulle, the collection was filled with generous proportions, as in the mustard-yellow belted coats with dropped shoulders. Heavy embroidery was worked in big, chunky crystals in emerald and ruby tones, or as cascades of sparkling fringe dripping from short dresses.
In light of planned flagship openings, Rousteing said he wanted to give his customer a wider offering. In particular, he developed knitwear ranging from a viscose evening dress to more accessible graphic sweaters.
Balmain’s popularity in the fashion industry and beyond has been quite strong for some time now — thanks in no large part to designer Olivier Rousteing and his bevy of stylish fans and friends. With the iconic French fashion house opening a new boutique in London next week and another set to open its doors in the trendy SoHo neighborhood of the Big Apple, the only way is up for the brand, as long as its customers get on-board with their hard-earned cash
We all remember the hard shoulders and military-inspired accents of Christophe Decarnin’s Balmain — the kind of sharp and tough luxury that pulled so many of today’s starlets and “It” girls in and made a real statement for the brand on the red carpet. Rousteing has definitely turned the spotlight on the more ostentatious side of the fashion house, with eveningwear as a focus. The sheer striped blouses, paperbag mini skirts, and high-waist wide-leg trousers captured the 70’s trend which is the industry’s fad of the moment, though oversized blazers and waist-cinching belts shifted in the direction of everyday functionality.
The fluidity and ease here were the draw-ins. Tiered ruffles, plush velvet, delicate pleats in the fashion of Madame Grés, and fringe all created movement and just the kind of head-turning looks that get Balmain women noticed
Whether Rousteing is setting trends or co-opting them, he is always successful at creating pieces that women want to wear. The collection at hand had all his trademarks, along with the quintessential Balmain bells and whistles like ornate embellishment and leg-baring hemlines. These designs might even end up on the Grammys red carpet in a couple of weeks. As always, we cannot wait to see what he brings to the fashion house’s next runway show and who he invites to sit front row
And so, your thoughts thus far?
Balmain is one of my favorite lines, I think Oliver serves the house well; the designs are always very "balmain".
Obviously, some of these looks are more wearable than others, but ya know
>Balmain RTW Fall 2015
>By Bridget Foley
It’s both daring and dicey to project world events onto the fashion screen. Not that major events don’t impact the mind-sets of creative people, but it’s a nuanced relationship that requires deft invocation, especially when you’re about to present a snazzy-jazzy collection filled with flamboyant pleats and flying fringe.
Backstage before his Balmain show, Olivier Rousteing spoke about “what happened [in January],” referring obviously to the Charlie Hebdo shootings. He noted the importance of celebrating Paris’ history as a center for artistic freedom and a melting pot of exotic cultures. The city, he said, is known for its “global feeling, the mix of different origins. I wanted to go back to that and still keep the richness of the Seventies in Paris.”
(if it's not obvious, this is the RTW show)
Lovely thought from an earnest young man, but it took a wayward turn on its way to the runway. Moroccan palette, orientalism, Seventies flou, Eighties sexpots, florals, color blocks, peekaboo lace, endless renditions of sparkle and shine, and enough foot-long bugle-beaded fringe doing precision swings from bodices to outfit a competitive team of retro glam majorettes — Rousteing sent them out with dizzying vigor, but to what end? He loves to talk about young women and his generation, but really? These clothes are not young. Nor does one imagine tony, chic adults making a run for them.
Paris is a glorious city, and Rousteing may well contribute to its artistic diversity in a significant way. His more immediate concern: tempering his retro enthusiasm in a manner that suits a modern luxury customer.
> Sarah Mower
“I wanted to look at the seventies in Paris—but for me, it doesn’t mean the flares—it means the diversity, when so many strong women, white, black, Asian were modeling,” Olivier Rousteing was saying passionately, backstage before his show. That’s something he linked to the heart of the matter spelled out in the written statement he released to journalists: “As recent events have reminded us, France has a long and proud history of defending essential liberties . . . that open-minded spirit is also something that sets Parisian fashion apart for fall/winter . . . We celebrate that Parisian tradition as well as the evolution of my city into a truly global melting pot.”
Then Kris Jenner arrived, Kanye, and Kim took their places, and Mrs West’s blondeness provoked the major fashion news incident of the day. It’s impossible to process the collection Rousteing showed without referencing the shift in consciousness caused by the Kardashian phenomenon. What will Kim choose from the runway? What will Kris wear? And what did Kendall look like as she walked?
For a start, as Kris Jenner would have noticed, being of an age to remember, Rousteing’s looks—with their big-shouldered, substantially belted multiply draped silhouettes—had more in common with the eighties than the seventies. Not to mention, a palette of mustard, purple, coral, fuchsia, emerald, and black. But why should Rousteing, or any of his peers, be held to account on points of historical accuracy? That’s not the job, if you want to make fashion that is relevant to its time.
Rousteing’s relevance is elsewhere. He’s in charge of a good-times brand. He celebrates the shift in a culture—toward celebrity, framing a new totally done, top-to-bottom presentation of the female body. Bottom-focused it is. As we deduced at Max Mara, too, the triumph of the Kardashian cultural tendency is that the correct answer to the question “Does my ass look big in this?” is a resounding yes. And that is a revolution in itself—something unheard of in the seventies or eighties.
His accordion-pleated pants, in their many forms, outlined and emphasized and trained the eye upon every retreating back-view. Whether knitted, or boldly printed, or as part of flowy-legged jumpsuits, their point was to be the opposite of minimizing.
There’s a strand in the fall collections by young designers that defies the surrounding darkness by piling on the glitter. Rousteing did that, too, with plenty of copper-beaded fringing swishing from capes, and some all-over multicolored embroideries of palm leaves. He is a sincere-minded young man designing at the center of a multicultural, entertainment, and social media maelstrom. All other judgments aside, he is channeling our times.
Olivier Rousteing, child of the '90s, was looking back at Paris in the '70s this season. The era has a tight hold on designers at the moment. It might have something to do with the dueling YSL biopics released last year: The one that starred Gaspard Ulliel as a particularly dissipated Saint Laurent was pretty intoxicating. Rousteing mentioned YSL's muse, Loulou de la Falaise, backstage, and he plucked prints from the Balmain archives from the period. The way he sees it, it was a particularly exotic time in Paris, full of exuberantly hued clothes. And it got his motor running.
On the runway this afternoon, violet, yellow, green, and black were color-blocked on jersey knit separates; orange and fuchsia came together on a wraparound blazer and enormous pleated palazzo pants; and a red and blue beaded fringe skirt was topped by an electric yellow belt. Like we said, exuberant! Rousteing applied the same more-is-more attitude to his silhouettes, which is where he ran into a serious snag. With good old Yves, there was an unmistakable lightness to the clothes. Here, the high-waisted flares, especially the plissé versions topped with extra-wide belts, tended to drown the supermodel bodies beneath them. Throw a duster coat on over the whole shebang and you'd never know there was a Victoria's Secret Angel lurking underneath all the layers.
For the most part, Rousteing has done away with the embroidery that was the house signature when he arrived, but there hasn't been the corresponding lightening up of the clothes that you'd expect. There were exceptions to that rule: a body-con dress in stretchy lace, a tailored velvet dress with a spill of ruffles below the waist, a minidress in color-blocked beaded fringe. Despite their finery, they had a slip-on-and-go simplicity that will make them popular on the party circuit. It's no surprise that, at the dinner Rousteing threw at Lapérouse late this evening, Balmain frocks outnumbered Balmain flares 10-to-1.
feel free to comment and tell me what you think.
A couple of extra pics....
Here's Solange @ the show
I'm not gonna post much from the beauty side of things, since the looks are for the most part, pretty plain.
wow u really wasted ur time doing this
balmain is for rich middle age women and is ugly
(some of the mens wear is OKAY...)
but on another note >>9547331
what the fuck is wrong with this guys cheeks, did he get surgery to get defined cheek bones coz that just looks horrible
are there any shows/designers you'd like me to dump?
If you can't tell, my tastes are Balmain, Alexander Wang, Acne, Raf Simons...those "rock n roll" or androgynous type lines; but I'm willing to dig up other shows if people are interested.