There’s new blood in the house of Balmain in the form of Olivier Rousteing and it’s certainly welcomed. The label had become one of fashion’s one trick pony brands, but hopefully with Oliver’s help it might begin to find it’s feet again.
It’s a very strong signature the Balmain label works to, I’ve hated collections and I’ve loved collections. It’s bold, it’s brash, it’s sometimes just the right side of hooker-chic. This collection however really does reign that aspect in. I wouldn’t go as far as to say there’s a new subtlety here but there’s certainly a noticeable shift. The girl’s a bit cleaner, a bit more polished and just slightly more glamorous than before. Previously there’s always been an element of grunge and a feeling of decay in the pieces – frayed jeans and slashed jersey pieces probably best displaying that. Here everything is neater and it’s more formal I suppose. Jackets are a huge investment for the Spring/Summer season and Balmain really did pioneer the signature jacket a few seasons ago, so it’s nice to see hero jackets appearing here once again.
The gold’s brash and blingy and put against a backdrop of pure white which can be a one way ticket to Tacksville, but here it actually manages to avoid it mostly. The elaborate beading and embroidery work on some of the jackets is incredible. All the trends are here, I’ve been harping on about them a lot already, but once again we see printed jackets, metallics, white and printed trousers all being used heavily.
If I were a girl I’d probably not be a Balmain girl at all, it’s a bit too brash for my own personal tastes but I’m big on the respect for Olivier Rousteing and his debut runway collection here. He’s managed to maintain the house’s DNA and cleverly remove aspects of its previous incarnation. I’m interested to see what else brings us.