“Shape and details” is the direction of Olivier’s Rousteing’s Fall/Winter Balmain
When visiting New York for the first time in December, the 26-year-old designer
was mesmerized by the Faberge egg in blue and gold that Richard Burton gave
Elizabeth Taylor on display at Christie’s. The beauty and simplicity of the Faberge egg’s
form and ornamentation inspired Rousteing to revisit the codes of Balmain and to define
shape and refine details in new ways with this collection.
He started with a sharp, strong new take on the Balmain jacket. “I viewed the
jacket as a square canvas, and crafted it so it retained its architectural lines but was
transformed through technique into a three-dimensional ornamented object, a beautiful
frame for a women’s face.” This statement in silhouette – razor sharp tailoring with an
oversized ease -- is completed with a more fluid Balmain pant, or a more tailored
cropped boyish pant when paired with a perfecto jacket and vest.
As the Balmain atelier delved deeper into Faberge’s heritage, Russian
ornamentation and cossack tailoring infused the collection. The ornate design of
orthodox ecclesiastical vestments, precious porcelain and rich palace interiors are
combined in sumptuous displays of complex, layered pattern.
“I was also amazed by the abundance of pearls in Elizabeth Taylor's collection.
She was a goddess with highly dramatic style.” says Rousteing.
High collar, hourglass velvet dresses are a base for a constellation of large pearl
and diamond embroidery also inspired by the architecture of Russian churches, and the
Balmain sweatshirt is covered with icy Fabergé pattern and cross stitch tapestry
cameos. A soft pyjama suit is adorned in Balmain form.
Velvet also stars in this collection in new embossed patterning, or devoré, for
sharp tailoring, body dressing and in combinations with polished, pastel leather for
tooled jackets and pants. Soft kid leather, grain de poudre wools, ponyskin and satin mix
freely and work on their own, or with embellishment, in a play of rich darks and icy
pastels in petrol blue, billiard green and black blush pink, peach, sky blue, mint and
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