Balmain Sucker-Punches Spring 2017
Olivier Rousteing allows no excuses following an abysmal winter season, both weather-wise and politically. The Balmain Spring 2017 Collection sucker-punches with its stunning array of vibrant gemstone colours in a collection that seamlessly channels Pierre Balmain’s distinct mastery of composition.
Inspired by the “perfect road trip,” Rousteing translates the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Serengeti, the Far West, and Amazonia, for the wearer to evoke the freedom to follow their desire for adventure.
The collection offers strong women diverse options that are still thematically unified, such as Art Deco motifs in multi-coloured crystals; chain mail dresses for the emboldened; and draped silks, sheers, and suede, for those craving to an eco-edge to their dramatic silhouettes. Pieces stood their ground even when solo.
The diversity of textures and fabrics, such as leather, knits, silks, and metallics, rouse the senses with their beauty and power.
Gone are the bandage dresses, heavy beading and much of the embroidery that gave previous seasons’pieces a more weighted feel; skillfully replaced with subtlety and glamour.
Raising the number of runway looks from 60 to 80 for Spring 2017, Olivier Rousteing is increasing Balmain’s presence, which includes not only expanding the Balmain line to include accessories but also to opening new stores worldwide. There is plenty of inspiration to be found in the Spring 2017 collection with its technical ingenuity, revamped accessories and sleek undertones.
“Opening with the relaxed ease of layered knitwear that builds upon last season’s slouchy silhouette, our diverse runway steadily escalates – moving through plays of camos, denim, studded leathers, plaid and graphic black-and-whites.” – Rousteing
Using the rolling waves and sun-kissed sands of beach life as his men’s wear inspiration, Olivier Rousteing describes his Spring 2017 collection as being inspired by Instagram, particularly by the accounts of his male model friends. Youthful levity, unbridled enthusiasm, and optimism blended with escapism.
The Spring 2017runway featured 30 men’s looks and ten women’s designs weaving their way down the catwalk. The looks were presented by some of the world’s most sought-after male models, including Jon Kortajarena, Baptiste Giabiconi, Francisco Lachowski, and Marlon Teixeira. Rousteing also interspersed his past favourites Doutzen Kroes, Sasha Luss, Cindy Bruna, and Alessandra Ambrosio into the show.
The runway pulsed with oversized bejeweled tunics layered over shorts and leggings, earthy suedes, embellished pale blue denims, and tasseled necklaces. The evening silks were bright jewel-tones, the knits oversized and loosely done, and the looks were topped off by exaggerated messenger bags.
A live band provided the audio backdrop, playing ‘80s and ‘90s hits by Sting and Phil Collins, providing a sentimental connection to the musicians that influenced Rousteing in his youth.
With the diversity in fabrics, volume, colours, and lengths, the entire collection is may be assembled and dissembled into any combination, and perfect for transitioning from day to evening wear. Now Balmain is accessible morning, afternoon, and evening.
(This article was originally published with my byline in HLM Magazine).