At this point, there is nothing suggestive about Olivier Rousteing’s designs for Balmain. His signatures are in-your-face, bold, and extreme designs that people either love or hate—but quite frankly we’ve found way more of the former than the latter. His Fall 2017 collection for the iconic French fashion house brimmed with embellishment, its trademark animal prints, and a cast of supermodels that few in the industry can muster. And it seems the inspiration was two-fold, as the designer was just as inspired by the 90’s-inspired threads of his model lineup, as they are by his red carpet and off-duty perfect designs.
“I was just a kid during Nirvana’s heyday, but their powerful music of rebellion definitely marked me then—and continues to resonate with me today,” stated Rousteing in the show’s notes, as reported by Refinery 29. “Those liberating lyrics advised us to ignore guidelines of what’s expected and remain true to ourselves. It’s that same mindset that propels today’s strong women as they march down the runway. They’ve embarked on the perfect road trip, picking up influence while traveling across the globe’s most awe-inspiring landscapes—the Serengeti, the Far West, Amazonia.”
And the fauna of the globe’s every corner were on display, with zebra print cap-sleeve dusters, kimono-style jackets crafted from cow-print calf hair, and python skin boots. PETA will definitely not be pleased with this assortment.
That grunge inspiration came through in tie-dye pieces and graphics—including those truck stop wolf-motif t-shirts that most of us would never be caught dead wearing. I was slightly amused by their appearance, but they did not at all feel like Balmain. One can only wonder how much they will sell for when they come to retail…
Accessories were also present and boy were they luxe. In the show notes, Rousteing stated, “While working on the recent re-launch of our accessories line, pouring over the house archives, I was reintroduced to Pierre Balmain’s mastery of beautiful, similar patterns, and inevitably channelled that into today’s offerings”. He continued, “That is not the only thread of continuity, of course. As always, our pride in being one of Paris’ historic houses is front and centre, with our atelier’s prowess reflected in intricate embroideries, one-of-a-kind constructions, and remarkable leatherwork. That same finesse is evident in the new creations from our accessories collection. They form part of one coherent, indivisible whole – reflecting both the historic Balmain DNA and today’s spirit of youth, freedom and rebellion – while accompanying our army on its perfect roadtrip of liberation and discovery.”
Every single best dressed celebrity has pretty much worn Balmain now, so it’s anyone’s game when it comes to the showstopping, red carpet-ready looks on display. A sheer, long-sleeve striped turtleneck crop top and matching jumpsuit look like just the things for Rihanna, while a python print, calf hair zip-accented mini dress would be perfect for Jennifer Lopez and her enviable legs.
Are you feeling the latest from Balmain?