Olivier Rousteing pulled inspiration from the images of famed photographer Peter Beard for Balmain’s Pre-Fall 2014 lineup, specifically his 70′s photos of the African landscape featuring supermodel Iman. That influence gave way to fierce animal prints, safari-inspired designs, and some of the decade’s trademark details including strong shoulders, jumpsuits, statement necklaces, and more.
Animal print was heavy right out of the gate on sheer-inset zebra tops, calf hair-detailed waist-cinching belts, and structured pleat skirts with leather and gold metal accents. The collection went full-on jungle in menswear-inspired leopard print suits, belted leather jackets with black and white silk zebra panels, leg-baring mini skirts in the feral patterns (a Balmain signature), and an office-ready pencil skirt that will take its wearer straight from the boardroom to a night out on the town.
Olive green army jackets were paired with silky jumpsuits in a matching hue (high atop my must-have list for the season), bamboo earrings, and gold metal-heeled sandals for an effortless blend of safari meets street. Pencil skirts, black tights, and cargo trousers grounded the pieces in functionality and real-time wear.
No Balmain collection would be complete without leather, thus Rousteing used the edgy texture in knotted crop tops, the aforementioned pleated skirts, high-waist cargo trousers, utilitarian vests, and more.
Fur and angora toppers radiated warmth when layered over pencil skirts and cargo-pocketed designs. It was also refreshing to see a brand anchor so many looks with tights for the season: a clear commitment to showing us all how to wear the pieces from the balmy temperatures of Fall straight through the chill of autumn.
More and more celebs flock to Balmain’s designs season after season, with ladies including Rihanna, LaLa Anthony, and Kelly Rowland among last year’s wearers. There were more than enough red carpet-ready looks on display from shimmering zebra print mini skirts with gold metallic stripes to simple ruched numbers that will set the stage for bombshell hair and killer accessories.
Thoughts on Rousteing’s latest for Balmain?
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