Balmain Catwalk Fashion Show Paris Menswear FW2018

January 21, 2018 by  
Filed under Fashion, Menswear, Paris

Olivier Rousteing – Balmain’s designer – reinforced everything the brand is known for, revisiting house classics like the short jacket, the tight pants, the military jacket and the marinière in a torrent of metallic, glittery embellishments. The direction was echoed in the women’s looks, which were hooked on signature sexy, thigh-skimming dresses.
Sticking to his skinny, square-shoulder silhouette, military — one of the season’s key trends — was a major theme, but more for the embellishments than a utilitarian mood, with plays on pockets, zips and lacing on a run of khaki green bombers and bikers.

Balmain Catwalk Fashion Show Paris Womenswear FW2017

March 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

Next fall the glamazons of Balmain will be dressed in raw pelts with a stitched-together feel. One of the models looked particularly fierce in a black dress assembled from crocodile skins, a tribal-looking metallic lip ring tracing a gleaming line across her mouth. Other options included a shearling sleeveless coat, or a tunic top pieced together from panels of glossy ponyskin. “It’s all about a return to the forces of nature. I wanted to create strong Amazons. Women’s power today is extremely important, and I think I reflect that with this collection. It’s very feminist,” Olivier Rousteing told WWD backstage.
The wealth of craftsmanship and materials on display was impressive. Rousteing is proud of the house’s historic ateliers, which turned out dresses and tunics in elaborate patchworks of crystal mesh, jacquard, leather appliqué, embroidery, velvet, fringe and metallic studs. This was craft of the highest level.
Rousteing diluted the impact of some dresses by adding panels depicting wolves, the wolf designsalso returned on T-shirts that anchored a boho rock star wardrobe of maxi cardigans, eyelet-studded leather and thigh-high boots.

Balmain Catwalk Fashion Show Paris Womenswear SS2016

October 2, 2015 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

Shortly after H&M released it’s campaign images for the upcoming Balmain x H&M collection it was time for designer Olivier Rousteing to shine with his SS2016 collection for Balmain. And like many designers who collaborated with the Swedish fashion brand before, Rousteing too was influenced by it. Preparing a capsule collection for H&M had encouraged him to examine what he stood for. So today’s spring/summer show was as close to his core as a Balmain designer as it gets. Resulting in a extraordinary line-up of attention grabbing, figure hugging and jaw dropping outfits. Sensuality was in every fiber of this collection and like real African amazons – high pony tails, statement chandelier earrings, accentuated waists and necklines – the diverse models strutted their stuff. Oranges, mustards, blues and greens felt earthy as the collection appeared lighter than Rousteing’s previous ones. Yes, there was still a lot of craftsmanship in the macramé (big trend for SS2016), yet the pieces seemed less stiff and rigid. Sheerness, cut-outs, see through and peekaboo added lightness as flounces gave the designs extra fluency.
An army of supermodels on the runway (including ‘our’ Doutzen, but also some modeling’s rising stars and Instagram queens), a Michael Jackson soundtrack, VIP’s (including Gigi Hadid’s beau Joe Jonas and Kendall Jenner’s mom Kris) and all the extra H&M collaboration buzz. If it wasn’t for those head-turning looks, the Balmain show still was the hottest ticket of the week (so far).

Balmain Menswear Catwalk Fashion Show Paris SS2016

June 28, 2015 by  
Filed under Fashion, Menswear, Paris

For his debut men’s wear show for Balmain, Olivier Rousteing was pretty good prepared. He kicked off with the hardcore techno track “Prepare for Glory.” He tapped the world’s most successful male model, Sean O’Pry, to open and close the show. And he stacked the catwalk with beauties like Alessandra Ambrosio, dressed in women’s resort. For inspiration, Rousteing looked to the great adventurers of the early 20th century — but this was safari male to the max.

Leather jackets were intricately latticed and laced, while a tobacco-hued explorer suit came spliced with a double-breasted jacket with gold buttons. In a nod to hip-hop culture, butter-soft suede was draped into a cowl-necked vest and slouchy drop-crotched pants, while a black sweatshirt glistened with a web of gold hardware. Rousteing plastered his signature gold crests, some featuring a lion’s head or a Union Jack flag, on jackets, including a tiger-striped ponyskin bomber with black leather sleeves, and a trim black blazer with satin lapels

Are you ready for Balmania?

Backstage at Balmain FW15


What better moment to announce the new designerxH&M collection than at the Billboard Music Awards. Posting a short video with the caption “THE WORD IS OUT #secretrevealed join MY new ARMY #HMBALMAINNATION #areyouready?”, creative director Olivier Rousteing made the internet and fashion world burst with excitement. He follows in the footsteps of a long line of designer collaborators, from Karl Lagerfeld (2004) to Wang (2014). A great moment to take a closer look on Balmain’s DNA.

 The History

1945: Balmain is a French haute couture fashion house that was founded by Pierre Balmain.

1982: Pierre Balmain passed away and designer Erik Mortensen took over his role.

1990: designer Hervé Pierre took over working as director of ready-to-wear and haute couture.

1993: Oscar de la Renta took the helm. He had a huge impact on the luxury fashion house. He once created couture for the label, but the line was shuttered over a decade ago.

2006: Christophe Decarnin was the next name to take over the label and he sought to completely overhaul the Balmain aesthetic. By focusing on eveningwear, his sparkling, power shouldered and strong designs he provoked the ‘Balmania’ madness as we know nowadays.

2011: Olivier Rousteing was named the new creative director and designer. His task: modernising the brand and cultivate an even stronger base, with lots of French influences, to build on.

 Oliver Rousteing
Olivier Rousteing (1986) is das wunderkind in the world of fashion. Famous for his razor sharp cheekbones (how?!), his utterly interesting Instagram account with tons of supermodel selfies, and of course, his major talent as a fashion designer. He initially pursued a law degree, dropping out to study fashion at Paris’s École Supérieure Des Arts Et Techniques De La Mode. Soon after he moved to Italy to work at Cavalli, becoming the head of ready-to-wear. In 2011, when he was only 25 years old, he was asked to become creative director of Balmain, which made him the youngest designer to head a Parisian fashion house since Yves Saint Laurent at Christian Dior in the 1950s.

 The Balmain Army
Whilst mister Balmain himself invented The Jolie Madame or Jet set-woman, Rousteing won’t be doing much different today, but in a slightly more modern way. He likes to describe his ladies as the so-called “Balmain Army” and his soldiers are definitely worth for a little name-dropping, as he is the fashion prodigy behinds world’s biggest celebs including actress Kate Bosworth, Kim Kardashian, Kendal Jenner, Rihanna, Naomi Campbell, Rosie Huntington-Whitley and Daria Werbowy. Rousteing has also been hailed as a champion for casting diverse models in his catwalk shows and advertising campaigns, which, he said, is a result of his own mixed roots and background.

 The Balmain Style
It’s not a first that people go crazy over anything that wears the famous Balmain name tag. It even has a name: Balmania. Remember Decarnin’s bold-shouldered blazers? It launched a thousand knock-offs. And what about the biker pants worn by many A-listers? No wonder H&M was aiming for some Parisian rock’n roll as well. Rousteing’s richly embroidered, luxurious designs have earned him legions of fans. The designer has been credited with infusing the influential Paris house with a fresh, pop culture aesthetic, without lacking the brand’s spirit and tradition of craftsmanship.

The Balmain x H&M collection – which includes menswear as well as womenswear – will land in stores on November 5 2015. Who’s ready for some Balmainia?

Balmain Catwalk Fashion Show Paris Womenswear SS2015

September 26, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

As fashion brands are turning more towards social media (the first brands are advertising on Instagram and Burberry is experimenting with a Twitter buy button) it’s not all that surprising these media form an inspiration as well. And who needs to look at previous decade or go through old archives when you can have an Instagram picture of Rihanna as the starting point of a collection. Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, who is friends with Rihanna, wanted to push the boundaries of sex for ss2015. Something he translated by showing a lot of skin through transparencies and cut outs. His creations paraded by the likes of Joan Smalls, Karlie Kloss, Kendall Jenner and Rosie Huntington Whitely were clean and powerful. Pencil skirts, high waisted pants, bandeau tops, sleeveless (tuxedo) jackets and one or two more airy and gracious evening gowns hit the runway. They had stripes and Mondrian-like checks (some of the checks were cutouts), they were tightfitting and sheer. But never did Rousteing take it too far. The clothes may not appeal to just everyone, but he presented the kind of sexiness that fits his target group. The kind of on the edge sexiness his friend and front row guest Kim Kardashian knows how to pull off (in real life and on Instagram).

Balmain Catwalk Fashion Show Paris Womenswear FW2014

February 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Paris, womenswear

“This time, the only travel I did was to myself, to my generation and to global ethnicities”, Olivier Rousteing stated backstage. And so we arrived in his jungle where models were more ethnically diverse than ever and it was all about camouflage colors (with a few pops of yellow and red) as well as animal prints. This wasn’t a regular safari, it was safari chic at it’s finest. Elaborating on his pre-fall collection (when he was talking about he was talking about a more all-inclusive Balmain—one that embraces different ethnicities and cultures) Rousteing introduced an army of pencil skirts, worn with peplum accents and statement khaki jackets. Without showing a lot of skin his models were super sexy rocking cargo pants and rigid leather jackets with large pockets. Robe details, metallic accents, colourful fur, statement (and we mean a real statement..) golden jewelery and a large focus on the waist made us all want to book a fall safari trip with Rousteing.

Please enjoy the pictures for now, our review will follow shortly.

Balmain Catwalk Fashion Show Paris SS2013

September 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

Inspired by Cuba Olivier Rousteing used quite some Latin influences for his spring collection. Harlequin motifs represented it’s black and white tile floors and beautifully woven raffia dresses resembled Cuban wicker chairs. He used these influences and gave the collection as a whole a early nineties twist. Power dressing. Boxy jackets and heavily shouldered dresses made the tiny framed models indeed look powerful, yet sometimes the fit seemed a bit off.

In between the handcrafted embroidered looks a few simpler denim and leather looks popped up too. They didn’t scream as loud as some of the power designs, yet looked cool enough to be heard. With harlequin motifs, stripes, strong shoulders and some very skilled craftsman Rousteing had all the right ingredients for a success collection. Yet if he had held back just a little, the impact would probably have been bigger.

Balmain Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2012

March 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

Balmain’s fall will be all about boxy jackets, small pants and tight dresses. Oh and let’s not forget the dazzling detailed Faberge egg-like embroideries that popped up throughout  the show. Especially those highly decorated pieces were the most remarkable ones. Even though there won’t be many women who can afford those thousands of hand embroidered pearls and crystals.

Yet as delicate as those pieces were, designer Rousteing still made it look cool and effortless, in line with what Balmain stands for. Besides his gorgeous creations there was not a lot of fuss going on at the show. Models barely wore any make-up, had their hair down (slightly messy) and walked around on their low(er) heels with their hands in their pockets. It’s the easy chic that works so well on the streets and it’s the cool effortless vibe that makes young women love the brand so much.

Though the Balmain look has been quite the same for a few seasons, Rousteing carefully introduced some changes. Jackets became boxier, some flared (velvet) pants were added to the mix of skinnies and even a 7/8 skirt made it’s appearance. It will be hard for the brand to step away from it’s success formula of skinnies and pointed shoulders, but today’s collection proved Balmain is right on track.




Balmain Catwalk Fashion Show Paris ss2012

September 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

Now Olivier Rousteing took over the design-helm at Balmain from Christophe Decarnin the story of superrich and superglamorous still continues. After all, Rousteing was Decarnin’s right hand for years. Las Vegas and bullfighters were his source of inspiration, so there was lots of shimmer on gold or black leather, matador-jackets, suede bustiers and blazers.

The new designer surprised the audience too, with denim skirts and loose (!) pants. What he took from Las Vegas were motel wallpaper patterns for jeans and blazers and floral bedspreads worked into minidresses. Overall it was less rock ‘n roll but still young and sexy.

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