Olivier Rousteing created a Fall collection that focuses on aviation-specific utilitywear.

March 17, 2021

Shot in a cavernous hangar at Charles de Gaulle Airport in and around a recently underused Air France 777, the Balmain Fall 2021 RTW collection gave us the appetite even more for imminent escape. Witty accessories included neck-pillow earrings and handbags, paper-plane suitcase charms, and working compass pendants.

“I don’t know where we’re going, but I do know that we are going somewhere. The point is not the destination but the actual going; the journey, the leaving—and the escape,” said Olivier Rousteing.

This included shearling aviator jackets, greatcoats, flight suits, and webbing-strafed dresses in parachute silk. As his flight path unfolded his looks became higher altitude and more technical, contrasting metallic high-shine hazmat chic against padded orange and olive outer-orbit-wear with rip-cord-pull hardware. Sprinkled among these were looks more “departure lounge” than “cockpit,” but happily escapist nonetheless. Rousteing’s enduring take on the Breton stripe flew in formation with sumptuous padded leather overcoats, fluoro knitwear, and total looks patterned with the recently reintroduced 1970 vintage P.B. monogram.

Flight BAL 021’s final destination at last revealed itself when Captain Rousteing piloted us to a digitally rendered runway platform suspended between Earth and moon. Even here he steered clear of stratospheric minidresses, opting instead for softened evening suits with fluoro reveres and a closing long-hem gown in space-blanket silver.

Watch backstage as models prepare to take flight for the Balmain Fall 2021 RTW runway show.


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