Louis XV’s favorite mistress was the inspiration behind the Balmain Pre-Fall 2016 collection, exposing subtley the opulence of Eighteenth century décor, including Versailles and “the sensual and elegant style of Madame de Pompadour.”
The rococo influences came across in lavish jacquards, fringed tassels, and an emphasis on pastel hues, but especially in Rousteing’s new use of the corset, which was layered over a long ruffled lace dress and built into a fitted jacket with hook-and-eye fastenings. Either way, it’s likely to appeal to the body-conscious Balmain girl. The exaggerated pannier hips on miniskirts might be a bit more of a leap for her, but not so unusual as to be intimidating.
The other development was a strapless, décolletage-baring gown with a narrow skirt of densely beaded fringe. When it was suggested to Rousteing that it looked almost like couture, he hinted that the idea of a Balmain couture collection is not such a far-off possibility.