“I’m going on my own road now,” BALMAIN's creative director Olivier Rousteing said, as he talked through his extensive pre-fall collection. A top-line tag of “safari” in the French sense might capture something of the traditional, pulled-together Parisian aspect of his collection. It ranged from shapely cable-knit sweaters to oversize khaki leather bombers, all the way through to zebra-patterned, crystal-embroidered dresses. On the other hand, it was all filtered through the sensibility of someone growing up with hip-hop; cue traces of cargo pockets and crop tops.
Routsteing inherited Balmain at a time when it had become synonymous with short, tight body-con dressing. But what happens when that idea of sexy wears out? Shock! There were below-the-knee pencil skirts in this collection. That, perhaps, describes best the personal stamp Rousteing is putting on the house. The proportions are changing, maybe, but he’s moving things on to prove that looking hot can be achieved differently. “It’s showing that you can be sexy completely covered up,” he said, pointing out that the necklines are high, and some of them are stacked with gold necklaces inspired by the Masai. “I think this is my favorite collection so far,” he said, smiling. “I think it expresses a bit more than clothes. It’s a new message . . . this mix of cultures, hip-hop, and pop. That’s really me.”
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo Credit / Source: The House of Balmain
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Balmain's Creative Director, Olivier Rousteing's words provide the interpretation for this collection which celebrates the freedom and self-confidence of today's women, contemporary muses who are able to connect their style with the many-sided zeitgeist of our times.
"Since the start of my collaboration with Balmain in 2011, I always drew inspiration from the archives, taking cues from the work of artists I love and conjuring the charm of exotic suggestions. For this collection, instead, I consider what is close to me, what is current and involves myself and my generation. It's a personal vision that touches me deeply".