We all remember the latest Balmain collection.
A dream of holographic neon dreams embodied into metallic elegance. It was one of my favorite fashion shows ever, along with the Spring Summer 2016 collection from Marc Jacobs or the legendary tribute that Versace made to its own creator in 2018. Olivier Rousteig channeled all of french glamour into a disco heaven and the illusion dazzled among us for months. The amazing trend breathed through funky music and synthesizers and started to evolve. And again for the new season, in the latest Paris Fashion week on September, he brought us a new show were his vision became alive again.
Olivier and Balmain
Olivier Rousteig has that ability that not everybody will consider something positive but that is actually quite effective in the crafting of a fashion concept. He knows what to capture from each trend that is brought on by every creator and collective, and makes his on tribute to it in his collections.
Also I think that if the previous Spring Summer collection and the Fall Winter 2018 one were a little bit more disconnected between them, this one is a perfect follow up of the latest collection. You can clearly see that holographic disco dream evolving into more light textures, softer colors and more translucent or transparent crystal like creations. He manages to almost fit both collection into one unique season-evolving work of art, the year of the glam.
Since this is I think a really remarkable characteristic of this collection – its deep relation with the previous one – I’m going to pose this article a little bit differently. Not only this collection seems like an evolution of the previous one, but within it the different concepts seem a lot more related to each other, and you can see the contrasting inspirations blend into each other in a carousel of perfectly matching influences.
But first of all and as always, let’s appreciate the show itself in its full glory and then we’ll proceed to discuss the more iconic pieces of this astounding collection.
The Fashion Show
The 28th of September 2018 at 11:30 a.m. local time, took place the presentation of the Balmain Spring Ready-To-Wear 2019 collection during the Paris Fashion Week.
As always, the elegant and minimalist staging, in that beautiful and already known to all lounge that breathes of Versailles influence with its mirrors, columns and chandeliers, was the key to presenting this collection in a perfect way, where each item is a work of art itself from which you can’t take your eyes off.
Let’s dive into the Parisian chic magic of this incredible show.
The Looks and Inspirations
The show opens up with a fierce entrance by Cara Delevingne, who I must say it’s not of my favorite models but does an amazing job here at starting the show lip syncing to the amazing ‘When Doves Cry‘ by Prince, that started before the show in its cover version by Quindon Tarver . I’m not a big fan of hers but I’m definitely a fan of spectacle and attitude and this moment set ups the mood for the whole show majestically. Her outfit its the pure embodiment of her attitude, an armored metallic top that we’ll see different versions of during the show and man suit cut dream of white satin that flows behind her as a royal cape. The outrageous femininity of the Balmain army is at its peak from the moment the show starts.
Iridescence and White
The first row of creations are an ode to white in all its possible textures and shapes. We see flowing satin, transparencies, and geometric constructions and patterns that either fit the body’s figure or create and entire different volume itself. Where we had a bold and dark holographic statement in the last collection, we have here the luminosity of iridescence.
Metallic finishes are also present in accessories and garments, always in silvery or cold shades that compliment perfectly the purity and versatility of white. Also we can see some asymmetric designs that combine the impression of more than one cut or texture at the same time.
Egypt and Paris
Then the show develops into a tribute to the Egyptian civilization. This will come in the form of marbled patterns, over black and white grays that remind of the stones used for their monumental constructions, also using different finishes to embellish the pieces. Later on, this influence will become as clear as hieroglyphics patterns over more classic textures like cotton or wool, may I say I guess even linen to carry the tribute to the next level, as ‘Another One Bites the Dust‘ by Queen starts playing.
Here we may quote what Olivier Rousteig himself said about this collection:
“It’s Paris meets Egypt, because every morning when I wake up I see the Obélisque on La Concorde, and the Pyramide du Louvre… I think it’s really important to mention that so much of the beauty of Paris is in its history, and its history is not only what we call French.”
Denim makes it first appearance on the show accompanied by more of these iconic armors that also remind of a Cleopatra inspired aesthetic. The pointy shoulder pads keep plaguing the designs, making a bold statement of power and elegance.
The denim appears washed out, torn and worn out, combining it with some polished pieces of a meticulously treated finish, like gauze or sequins. I’m particularly fond of the use of super light, almost white denim that appears strategically bleached, specially in a jacket that you can see below and that is one of my favorite pieces of the whole collection.
Nudes and Pastels
After a brief interlude of white, the nude colors start to appear with different textures and effects. The shades chosen are much more powdery and blushed that the ones of the last collection, giving a more appropriate feeling for spring. Reflecting garments and soft finishes like velvety textures and leather are all over these pieces, playing with gradients of tones and fabrics to put together the most elegant looks of the collection.
The nude shades then blend into pastel colors that still say ‘Balmain’ with every inch of its geometry. Where we had neons over black for the past fall, we have now a delightful combination of minty greens, pale pinks, salmons and washed out blues, that once again are combined with denim and with the metallic accessories that are always the leif motiv of Olivier Rousteig collections.
For me, this metallic obsession becomes specially appealing when it’s in the form wonderfully reflecting and dazzling shattered mirror form, sometimes achieving the category of angelic disco ball armor. The beauty of these pieces is simply astonishing.
After that the collection arrives to a point where it retrieves the most classical lines of fashion. Pieces in fabrics that remind those of the most classic Chanel designs, in simple but elegant black and white. Anyhow, in spite of this classical inspiration, the shapes and cuts of the pieces adopt one more time the characteristic geometry of Olivier Rousteig designs, going back from time to time to this ethereal concept of asymmetry.
The most remarkable designs of this row are for me these two below, where we can see the now almost traditional Balmain dress cut in intricate patterns that remind of empty 3D spaces and models.
Structure and Texture
To end the show, the black and white line of creation keeps being expanded and developed into multiple different designs and pieces that use the combination of textures and finishes to achieve an elegant but transgressive visual impact.
Playing around with this concepts, always faithful to his style, the collection and the show is finished impeccably.
Here we can see the details of the designs more closely.
Plastic garments such as the original handbags and high heeled shoes are present all through the collection, often combined with metallic finishes, crystals and synthetic transparencies.
To draw attention to the impressive creations, the beauty department behind Balmain’s show chose once again a very clean and polished makeup for the models. The idea is to achieve a perfectly flawless and natural looking skin full of youth and health, with very subtle colors that create almost a no-makeup makeup look that let the outfits shine through.
The same concept is applied to the hair, were you can see it is almost always polished pulled back or left to naturally flow around in a side parting, not to steal the thunder from the collection.
All our attention is drawn to the fashion creations in a masterfully way.
And that is all for now!
I really hope you enjoyed this collection and that you can take some inspiration from it for next spring. I personally enjoy a lot that Olivier Rousteig chose to expand the disco inspiration that he followed in his last collection with a lighter and brighter twist in this one. I expect
Stay tuned for more articles really soon!
Lots of love.