Fashion Week in Paris is synonymous with glamour and fervent fans, and Balmain did not disappoint on a recent evening at the Palais de Chaillot. The show’s buzz necessitated a substantial police presence to manage the enthusiastic crowd, even leading to the temporary closure of a nearby metro station.
In the star-studded audience were luminaries like Cher, Charlotte Rampling, and Lucy Hale, alongside a legion of influencers. Balmain continued its tradition of intimate shows, hosting two sessions – one in the afternoon for cherished clients and another in the evening for VIPs and media.
Balmain’s recent shift from large-scale events and the Balmain Army’s bold aesthetic has given way to a quieter elegance. The brand has embraced its rich heritage, founded by Pierre Balmain in 1945.
For Spring/Summer 2024, Creative Director Olivier Rousteing delved into the archives, exploring Pierre Balmain’s creations from the 1940s and 50s, known for sculptural forms and couture details. Rousteing has reimagined the label’s DNA in a colorful manner, moving away from the previous season’s palette.
The new collection exudes a retro-chic vibe, with cinched waistlines and flared bottoms. Silhouettes range from short, fitted outfits to airy silk dresses and long skirts, some pleated and others gathered. Sharp lines harmonize with rounded, undulating shapes, exemplified by short pleated hoop skirts and sculptural corset dresses.
Rousteing revisits two signature Balmain motifs from the archives: polka dots and roses. Elegant sheath dresses, blouses, and pyjama-style sets embrace these themes.
Roses, however, steal the limelight. They embellish handbags and grace silk and cotton dresses in various prints. Fabric appliqués in the shape of oversized roses adorn corset dresses, some sparkling with gleaming stones.
Rousteing explores roses in various materials, from leather and rubber to latex, porcelain, and even recycled plastic. These floral elements decorate garments, often appearing as three-dimensional flower garlands tracing collars or climbing towards a single shoulder. Additionally, Rousteing draws inspiration from garden trellises, featuring them on handbags and fabric-adorned shoes.
Despite a setback involving the theft of 50 Balmain looks from this collection just 10 days prior, the show went on, featuring nearly 50 looks – a departure from the label’s typically grand showcases. Rousteing expressed gratitude to his dedicated team, friends, colleagues, and the police for their swift investigation and recovery of the stolen garments, allowing the show to proceed seamlessly.