Balmain Fall 2019 Ready-To-Wear Collection

Again and for another season, style and couture recently had a meeting in the last Paris Fashion Week. And as always, one of the most commented and awaited collections arrived without disappointing anyone, including myself. The era of Olivier Rousteig as head designer for the Balmain house is consolidating itself as one of the most prominent in the history of the brand.

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The style that Rousteig brings to his designs are instantly recognizable, as he masterfully brings together his own aesthetics with the inspiration from contemporary trends in the couture world. Also, since he started his career at the front of Balmain, his collections seem to have been evolving one into another, following a creative direction that draws a fine and particular mind from one year to another and that drag us into his artistic world. As we commented in the latest Balmain fashion shows, his Fall 2018 collection seemed to evolve into his Spring 2019 one, as if this last one was a continuation of he creative process in the one before. And this time we can appreciate the same continuity in his Fall 2019, with which he has gifted the world in this last Paris Fashion Week.

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That is probably one of my favorite things about the work of Rousteig in Balmain, the continuity and the flowing artistry of his designs and collections. While other designers choose to pick very different inspirations and for each of their collections and follow completely different conceptual lines for each season (for example, Marc Jacobs comes to my mind in this aspect), Rousteig kindly guides us into the continuously evolving flow of style that is his work.

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The Fashion Show

As always first of all, let’s enjoy the show, which is as stunning as always with that particular music selection that can only be from Balmain!

The Collection

The fashion show starts with some creations based on what will be the center of the collection: black. It is true that Olivier Rousteig always uses black as a main pillar for his collections, but in the particular case he has raised it to the category of the clear protagonist of the show. The influence of this color isn’t dimmed as in his latest collection by neon or holographic effects. The elegance shines through a masterful use of this color all through the collection.

The show starts by presenting a few designs where the main vehicle to present this ‘queen of colors’ as Pierre-Auguste Renoir defined it, is leather or wool, always studded or paired with transparencies, that remark even more the visual weight of bold pieces like oversized jackets.

Creations that are based on a unique type of fabric besides being monochrome also populate this collection. As the show develops and evolves, denim, another of Rousteig usual pillars, and white will start to appear to complement the statement that black makes.

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Shoes in this collection are mainly based in that leather and studs relationship that we mentioned before. Though we can see mainly boots, there are also a few sandal pieces that also combine patent leather or black velvet with silver and metallic appliances.

Soon, the combinations with white that we have mentioned also gain prominence, being combined mainly also with leather and denim.

A very particular concept resource that Rousteig uses to support this collection is as we have said before, combining the visual weight of bold pieces with transparencies. A characteristic trademark that we will see repeatedly is the mid openings in the pieces that will leave the waist, elbows, and even more frequently, the shoulders, exposed. This will be achieved either with plastics, see-through fabrics or directly with naked openings, that will emphasize the structure of the pieces.

Tweed will also appear as a central pillar of the collection, accompanying wool, and combinations of materials and effects will be interleaved with block outfits, such as denim ones.

At this point of the show we will see appear another of the chracteristic features of this collection: fabrics that are worked in the shape of floral references, specially roses or carnations. This is a collection where Rousteig has left aside the majority of his recently most used ‘special effects’ such as iridescent and holographic finishes or bold colors, but this embellishment will appear through the collection in many designs and is an innovation in his resources that is introduced in this collection.

Fringes, on the other hand, are a very used and common resource in his creations, and also appears in this collection combined with a great variety of fabric and finishes, nearly always in black or white.

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The two pieces above are in my opinion one of the most gorgeous of the collection. The combination of two of his most characteristic features, transparent plastic fabrics and studs, are combined here masterfully over the naked body or elegant white pieces, giving a great deal of boldness to the accessories such as belts or shoes. It is amazing how he recreates the concept of leather without using it, just alluding to it using the structure of plastic and the character of the studs.

Half way into the show, a few glimpses of color, mainly under saturated ones, are presented through the textures and fabrics used before. The floral/carnations designs are once again seen, and then mint and pastel purple take the place of black being the center of a few designs.

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The colors are presented both in a uniformity of fabrics and also in combinations of them. I think this brief appearance of color is a small breath of fresh air into the collection. I doesn’t overshadow the importance of the elegance in the decision of keeping the collection mainly toned down, and still it adds a little lightness to it. We can observe how amazingly the effect of a design can change just changing the color of it: though the same resources are used, these pieces give a much more innocent and fresh appearance without losing any of the elegance.

In the final stretch of the show we are presented with some of the most stunning designs of the collection. Rousteig uses a few resources that he has prominently used through his work at the front of Balmain, such as lace, asymmetrical structured cuts and more transparencies.

Here are introduced the chest openings that are the center of quite a few of his final designs. Very bold pieces are often compensated with transparencies in the chest, which is a very distinctive characteristic of this particular collection in my opinion.

The effect achieved with this is frankly amazing and this last part of the show leaves us with a great sensation of couture raised to a higher level.

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At the end of the show we see all the artistic resources used through the collection interlinked one more time, going back to black to close the circle that Rousteig drew with his creations. The most chic designs are seen in this final part, and the show closes in the most elegant way.

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Sequins make an stellar appearance in these final creations, enhancing the chicness of the designs. Long capes are also prominent in this last pieces, as well as once again the openings in the waist area, asymmetries,combinations with patent leather, and white blouse fragments that are used as a complement for these stunning pieces.

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All in all, this collection deviates from his last ones in the sense that elegance here bears an even greater significance.

I can see a lot of influence of the work of for example Thierry Mugler, in this conception of elegance as an otherworldly feature that must be honored, but I also appreciate an evolution within his own work, and many references to his own creations.

Olivier Rousteig without a doubt consolidates himself as a true haute couture designer with this collection, leaving aside all of his usual ‘special effects’ to focus on the solidity of the pieces.

A collection to be taken seriously.

Beauty

As usual, the focus on Balmain shows is on the pieces and models wear a natural, almost no makeup look not to steal the light of the designs. In this case anyhow, we can see the use of very minimalist accessories, mainly this metallic chain headband that is repeated in quite a few of the looks.

Skin doesn’t look either too matte or too dewy but perfectly balanced and radiant, which is a basic characteristic of Balmain fashion shows: models look perfectly flawless without using makeup as a creative statement, just letting it enhance their features and letting their natural and individual beauty shine through.

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Another important feature of this show that is also an innovation in relation with the latest Balmain collection is the appearance of berets: these are used to emphasize the Parisian chicness of the pieces, using leather and studs to give boldness to the designs.

Overall, the look is like always fresh and polished.

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Details, Accessories and Shoes

Here I have made a selection of the most important and beautiful detail shots that were made during the show.

I love to observe the final designs (that encompass the designs, the shoes and the accessories) in a closer way so I can appreciate all the passion and care that were put into their creation.

Most of the features that we have talked about can be further appreciated in these shots of an indisputable beauty.

We can also appreciate that, as well as in the outfits, leather and studs are the leiv motif that bring all the creations together through their use in the accessories such as bags, belts and shoes.

Plastic transparencies can be better appreciated and we discover that even more resources than the ones we initially noticed are used, for example these nearly iridescent sequins that are paired with denim here down below.

The freshness of the very few colors used, mint and pastel purple as we said, is even more appreciable when the whole effect that they create in combination with the choice of fabrics is observed closely.

Patent leather makes truly a bold statement that is conveyed perfectly with all the different textures that are given to it through the collection.

 

And that is all!

As we mentioned before this is a collection that followed the path that Rousteig himself was tracing in his last collections for Balmain but at the same times breaks with it taking his creations a step further with this truly unforgettable elegance statement.

I hope that you enjoyed this collection as much as I did and I expect to see you all really soon!
Lots of love.

Versace Tribute Collection: Spring Ready-To-Wear 2018

An article about the Tribute collection from Versace on last fall’s Fashion week has been on my drafts since September. Now that I’m watching the American Crime Story season about the assassination of Gianni Versace, this has all come back to me along with a huge intensification of my crush on Versace.

Writing about collections has been a recurring idea on my mind since I wrote the article about the Balmain Ready To Wear Fall 2018 collection and fashion show. I just love watching the shows and understanding the collections as the work of art they are, and this one from Versace specially honors that idea.

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Let’s talk a bit about the tribute collection and the brand first.

The tribute

Gianni Versace last collection was presented on July 1997, just before his murder. After that, the management of the company passed along to their siblings, the famous icon Donatella and his brother Santo. Though actually the half of the company was inherited according to his will by his niece Allegra Beck, Donatella’s daughter, she has never been really fond of being associated with the place that Versace occupies among the greatest fashion houses of all time.

On last fall’s Fashion Week at Milan, Versace presented a tribute collection that Donatella specially meant to honor his brother on the 20th anniversary of his passing away.

When I saw the collection, I was in one word, astounded. At the moment I didn’t know how much it was actually a deeply inspired in Gianni’s vision and designs, but after researching a bit I was amazed beyond words. You know that I have a thing for the 90s, 80s, 70s and probably every decade that I didn’t get the chance to live in. But the love and the dedication with which this collection honored those times and the concept of fashion that was held then, is one that I truly never saw before.

The vision

Gianni Versace’s vision of clothes was that they had to make the person who was wearing them feel happy. Fashion was his passion and he designed every item with a love and dedication that reflected his tender craftsman heart. He started out with a little boutique and he grew his company from scratch, basing everything in this idea he had that women were goddesses and their looks should reflect that nature to make them justice because they were born to shine. The first time he designed a dress, it was for his sister Donatella, who he loved with all his heart, and on one occasion he said that probably he still designed every item with her in his mind. Family was the most important thing for him, and his love for fashion came probably since he was born from his mother Francesca, who owned a tiny workshop where her son help her sew and sketch patterns.

Versace was not only a man, but a family of traditions and love, which now makes perfect sense with the will of Donatella of honoring his lost brother now, twenty years after. The man who was vogue.

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Let’s dive deep into this collection now, one of my favorites of the last year, and certainly the most touching and were I can see more passion. Donatella has consecrated herself as one of the greatest here, in the fashion history and in my heart as well.

Fashion is about love, that was his brother’s vision, and that she channeled in an impeccable way.

The show

If you haven’t watched this show, I’m not recommending it to you, I’m saying you MUST watch it right now if you love fashion and you consider it an art. Furthermore, if you consider that life and love is a thing to be celebrated, this show is something that won’t leave you indifferent even if you don’t like this house style.

Just dim the lights, grab your headphones, set the video to 1080p and get ready for the greatest tribute ever made to a fashion designer, to a creator, and an artist.

 

What can I say after that.
You have heard her talked about him and you have seen the mastery with which she captured a whole era and a soul in a collection. His passion, his vision, her love for him, the love of the world for him, his place in history, his role in fashion, his muses, the woman. His spirit. Everything was there. She made history.

Hats off.

The looks

Now let’s see some of my favorite looks, ones that will stay in my heart forever and that in my opinion, will last forever in fashion history.

And these two, which are the best looks in my opinion and that were both worn by Grace Hartzel:

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The inspiration

Finally, the greatest part of this tribute collection: the way it honored the past. Let’s see how Gianni’s designs inspired many of the looks in this collection, and let’s just be amazed at the love with which this was made. Tribute is a word that came alive with this collection.

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And this is all for today!

I hope you loved this collection as much as me.

I will probably be writing about other one soon so tell me if you like the idea!
Lots of love.

Balmain Ready To Wear Fall 2018 Collection

Balmain: the new king of the Paris Fashion Week. This fall be ready to fall under the disco spell that Olivier Rousteing has casted upon the fashion industry.

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Today we’ll see of one of the collections that has made me fall in love the hardest these last Fashion Weeks since that Marc Jacobs collection that I still dream of. I’m talking about the dazzling, the wonderful, the absolutely stunning Balmain Fall Ready To Wear 2018 collection.

The Show

Olivier Rousteing, currently the creative designer of this fashion house, left us all astounded when he presented his collection in the last Paris Fashion Week. First of all, I leave you here the full show if you still haven’t seen it!

The Idea

Some people has talk about futuristic inspiration in this collection. I personally can’t help think of the 70s and the 80s. It’s true, and more and more people can’t deny me this, disco is coming back.

I’m talking about fashion, make-up, music, just everything in the industry is retrieving (wisely) that dazzling vibe that has the power to catch our eye and our heart in way that only a disco ball can! The collection is also elegant.

Beside the silvery holographic siren soldiers, we can also see some nude and black designs that speak of silent glam and Marcel Duchamp, some Pop Art inspired creations and a lot of Yves Klein blue. Art is very present on this collection, and the fact that disco is treated as one more art (maybe the art of the 20s?) pleases me beyond what I can express with words. Arts and the disco era speak to me on so many levels that the idea of this fashion trend coming back with so many artistic references is just a dream come true.

The music

The music at the show just confirms all this with a radiant combination of disco classics remixes, like for example Yazoo’s “Don’t Go,” A-ha’s “Take On Me,” and Kim Wilde’s “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”. And also the inmortal ‘Heart of Glass’ from Blondie in a version that seems out of a Baz Luhrmann movie and that will take your own heart. It was simply a beautiful show that simply can’t be described with enough justice.

The show can even be used as a playlist for totally glamorous inspiration and productivity. This is no lie, some friends of mine has actually done this and, no doubt, I’m hearing it right now as I write. I totally encourage you to do the same!

 

The looks

The Balmain collection had 92 amazing designs. For what I’ve understood from the collection, I can group the looks in four main categories:

 

Holographs and Sequins

Most of the looks had this disco glam feel that was the one that made me fall in love.

We can see lots of metallics, shiny fabrics, holographic sequins and translucent special effects. Silver and the holographic finish are the ones that most clearly rule these looks, though we can also find some sequins in black. One of the things that amazed me the more was some black creations with an holographic finish that I still don’t understand how it was achieved. Marvelous!

The textures combinations were infinite, the designs amazing and the colors didn’t need more than those jewels that are silver, black, holographic finishes and sequins of all sizes.

Particularly beautiful were the designs that only included black fabrics and sequins.

Nudes and Duchamp

Seeing the nude and black designs from Balmain, and seeing the artistic references that I could get from the other designs, I couldn’t help but think of Duchamp’s famous painting “Nude descending a staircase”.

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These looks were one of the most elegant of the collections, highly combinable with almost any kind of accessory.

 

Yves Klein’s blue

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Yves Klein was a french artist of the 50s and 60s identified with the neodadaist movement. He was so keen on one particular blue hue that he had a paint specifically design for him, with which he painted almost all of his works. He is also seen as an inspiration and forerunner for pop art (which is also later included in the show!) and minimalistic art.

In the collection we can see some designs with the emblematic Yves Klein blue.

 

Pop Art and Bright Colors

The last previous category bring us directly into the Pop Art inspiration for a lot of the designs. Using Yves Klein blue as a leif motiv, the house brought us a combination of pop art shapes and colors (main primary ones, cyan, yellow and magenta), some metallic or holographic finishes and some black ink. These designs were astounding, particularly the dresses that resembled neon designs.

All of them were really expressionist and remind me of artists like Miró or Warhol but with a much interesting twist if I have to be honest, because those artist have never been of my favorites.

 

Apart from these categories, there were also some sequined T-shirts, some denim blue designs that reminded even more of the 80s and some holographic nude-almost-white design, but I think those four categories summarize pretty well the collection and its inspirations.

 

The make-up

The make-up chosen for the show was really simple. I was based on a perfect natural looking skin, enhanced subtly with make-up products like nude foundations, concealer, mascara, blushes and highlighters. The look was a no-make-up make-up look and it was achieved perfectly.

The inspiration was clearly the glow of a naturally healthy looking skin, with no imperfections, an even tone and a natural light coming through it. I think the election of the make-up look for the models was perfect because this way it let the designs shine without drawing any attention to the make-up. The hair styles were also polished but naturals, mainly long manes with part sides, but also some fringes and short hair, but generally no up-dos at all.

If you still haven’t read the article about the glow trend and you like this look, go check it out!

 

Details

Here you have a selection of the details from the show and designs that I found most dazzling!

 

And finally, you can see some of my favorite looks from the collection in full size here.

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This is it!
I must say I’m really grateful to the fashion world for this collection, I enjoy one that makes me fall in love as much as one of those movies that touches your heart in every way and that you only get the luck to find once every few years.
All in all, thank you Balmain, thank you Olivier Rusteing for restoring my faith in the industry and for giving us the gift of fashion in it maximum expression as an art.  And also for reassuring me in my theory that disco is coming back!

I have no words to describe how much I love this. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I do.
What are your thoughts on this Balmain collection?
Don’t hesitate to share your opinions!

Thank you so much for being here one more day and have a wonderful day!