Balmain, in New Wave mood, booms under Olivier Rousteing
There are few hotter designers in the world today than Olivier Rousteing, whose latest show for Balmain was a tour de force of rock-n-roll men’s couture.
Rousteing makes attention-seeking clothes for an attention-seeking era, and these clothes will all look sensational on Instagram.
Balmain is always a big show, with scores of looks and endless variations on his sartorial themes. If you want a biker jacket, then Olivier has a dozens of them; from contrasting black and white calfskin versions; to shaggy horizontal stripes with studded shoulders; to rawhide with fringes and pearls; to thick wool with lace inserts.
In an ode to America, he also mingled in lots of black-n-white stars and stripes, seen in leather dusters and redingotes. The look was very New Wave even if the music was all classic French pop, with Johnny Halliday crooning at the finale.
Thanks to this young Bordeaux-born designer, this is very much a brand on fire. Now owned by the Qatari royal family, expect things to boom at Balmain, as the deep-pocketed backers role out new stores.
He even presented a class of Chanel suits, meaning a four-pocket suede jacket trimmed with chains. Though Karl Lagerfeld would surely have made the look with far finer strips of metal. Herr Lagerfeld has once spoken of Haider Ackermann as a possible future successor. Though everyone in Paris murmurs that the ideal choice would be Hedi Slimane. But, one has to wonder; surely Rousteing would a great pick too? He is that good a designer. Truly.
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