Balmain: booming and busy

No French house seems hotter than Balmain, whose latest show felt more like a celebration than a mere catwalk event. Guests struggled to get into the show – with a large march of pensioners blocking access to the Palais Garnier, the city’s storied opera house.


Balmain SS18 - Photo: PixelFormula

 
A casting of Russian supermodels – Natalia Vodianova and Natasha Poly opened the action; another series of blinding body-conscious clothes and an extended tour of the catwalk by designer Olivier Rousteing. He got to stage the show inside the Palais Garnier, partly in thanks for dressing the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris this summer. Huge excitement in the backstage, as a frenzied scrum as photographers fought for a photo of two Brazilian football stars Neymar Jr and Dani Alves with the designer.
 
Did you like the show? Asked Rousteing. “Si. Beaucoup! Beaucoup!” beamed Neymar, dressed in a Balmain double-breasted mess jacket.
 
Very much a winning moment in France for Qatar, whose royal investment firm Mayhoola bought Balmain last year; and whose football team Paris St Germain whipped Bayern Munich last night 3-0, in Paris.
 
Created mainly in black and silver, the clothes had all the hard glamour one expects from Balmain’s Rousteing. Taut mini skirts and boleros in silver wool bouclé; golden studded black patent leather jumpsuits and striking bedraggled patchwork tops in mixes of cashmere knit; metal mesh; studded leather and lambskin knits. Yes, a little messy but full of fashion sizzle. Plus, lots of Balmain branding – especially his gold medallions done like those on an American college sweatshirt.
 
“Every department is under construction in Balmain, as we going about building it into a major brand led by Olivier. And we partnering with all the right people. Beats headphones this summer, and now L’Oreal,” said CEO Massimo Piombini referring to this evening’s launch of the new Balmain Lipstick. All systems go at Balmain, in other words.

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