Sex sells and no one knows that better than Olivier Rousteing. When he took the lead of the creative helm at Balmain four years ago, the French fashion house already had a built-in legion of fans—though they had indeed grown tired of the same old military-inspired jackets and rocker chic flair that then designer Creative Director Christophe Decarnin had made his signature. Rousteing’s Balmain was and is much more sultry: body-hugging silhouettes, skin-baring perforated designs, plunging necklines, and come hither hues. Not for the faint of heart by any means, his pieces make the women who dare to wear them feel good. Perhaps that’s why almost every best-dressed celeb has worn the brand since he’s come on board, or the fact that H&M has enlisted him for their latest designer collaboration.
As one might have expected, the female form was on display. The brand’s trademark crocheted frocks served up bohemian-inspired exposure of flesh, wide belts accentuated the models’ already slim waists, and cutout detailing gave added flashes of chiseled bod.
Netted and perforated skirts and long-sleeve tops were designed for a particular kind of Balmain woman: one who feels most comfortable in proximity to nudity. Risqué designs with cutout and crisscross detailing were not for fashion’s delicate set either: they were full-on sexpot with provocative caged sandals, embellished earrings, statement necklaces, and the collection’s sleek high ponytails as accents.
Balmain is not for the wallflower, thus whatever Rousteing serves up will always be quite strong in its approach. That intensity and power was juxtaposed with the ease and smoothness of the textures and color palette. Nude, beige, and camel tones made sheer skirts, dresses, and shirts appear more approachable, while supple suede and silk turned lace-up cropped numbers and transparent trousers from unabashedly carnal to exciting.
Rousteing turned up the glitz with crystal-adornment on netted pencil skirts and dresses, so you’ve been warned: the sheer dress trend will be continuing on until at least Spring 2016. Ruffles also injected a dose of whimsy and playfulness on a strong-shouldered crop top, floor-grazing trousers that won’t be complimentary to every frame and figure but whose movement was a sight to behold, and cascading maxi skirts that were perfect for dramatic red carpet flair.
Some of his most notable clients include that of the Kardashian-Jenner family, thus there was no surprise that so many of the looks at hand seemed as if they’d fit right into Kim’s post-pregnancy wardrobe. There’s no telling if one of the family’s stylish members will again show up in the fashion house’s next ad campaign, but we’re at least certain they’ll be sporting the assortment almost immediately.
Was there anything entirely new here for the fashion house? Not quite. But we’re absolutely positive that the #balmainarmy is already noting down their must-haves from the collection. It’s also fun to see the way Rousteing will push the envelope each season. Here’s to counting down the weeks until someone wears one of these designs to their next movie premiere or high-fashion fête.
What do you think of Balmain’s latest?