The dazzlingly Balmain Pre-Fall 2018 collection had a new take on the French tricolor (blue, silver, and red). The Creative Director, Olivier Rousteing, electrified the motif as zigzag and chevron patterns so that the results registered equal parts patriotic and Ziggy Stardust.
“France is way more attractive these days; we should keep pushing that attraction and being proud,” he said . “We have a chance right now to shine, so let’s keep shining.”
Dialed up, this aesthetic played out as fresh velvet versions of his maximalist rock star jackets, which he paired with embellished concert tees, and strass-studded velvet leggings, masculine trousers, or patent jeans. Dialed down, it was present in comparatively wearable Prince of Wales suiting and herringbone cotton tweeds. The heritage aspect was most apparent in the liberal use of a medallion referring to the maison crest created roughly a half-century ago. Consider the emblem an updated way for his Balmain army to signal their continued allegiance.
He reiterated, however, that Meryl is as much a muse as Kendall; and with Brigitte Macron wearing his sharp-shouldered jackets, it’s increasingly apparent that the glam gal perception of the brand might be too narrow. Indeed, for all the glitz of the intricate constellation patterns, the emphasis on statement knits and velvet jersey proved a welcome message. While many pieces remained resolutely body-con, there were also structured knit jackets, tunics, lacquered quilted pullovers, and oversize bombers.
The marinière theme that he introduced on the Spring runway reappeared as new baroque interpretations with fringed Lurex miniskirts or toppers dripping with embroidery.
The latest bag offering, which spans classic box shapes with gold chains to extreme novelty styles with glitter floating through clear acrylic; purses modeled after Starbucks cups.