There was an 80s and early 90s feel to much of the spring 2014 collections and Balmain was no exception. Like a show from the 80s, it verged between a catwalk show and a night club. With the thumping soundtrack “Relax” from Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Olivier Rousteing took the fashion world on a tour of the amped up styles and shapes that defined the GoGo 80s and early 90s. Rousteing reinterpreted the decade with just the right amount of exaggeration to make the distinctive proportions look fresh and relevant again with looks that recalled the biker collection by Chanel in the early 90s.
In addition to the sculpted power shoulders that have become the brand’s signature, quilted bomber jackets, jumpsuits and fit and flare skirts in houndstooth mixed with gingham check blouses gave a hint of classic to the collection and offered a bevy of new options for day. Rousteing took a new approach to quilting leather and denim, often trimming it in heavy gold chains to give denim the deluxe treatment or reproducing it in a silk print. Coordinating jackets, quilted separates, colorful herringbone, a check print, heavy metallic belts, draped denim and off-the-shoulder tops and dresses all made the grade. “I wanted to explore something casual and sporty. It’s less evening and more real. It’s more me ” the designer elaborated.
Rousteing has been trying to liberate himself from the impression that Balmain is only about heavily encrusted evening wear. For day, black and white houndstooth skirts that hug the hips and butt and flip out were paired with sweatshirts, and baseball tees. The flouncy ruffled skirts were worn well above the knee, but not as micro or as tight as in seasons past. The volume of the skirts offered the perfect counter balance to form fitting tops. There were plenty of skin-grazing sexy minis with lowered waists and sheer crystal-embellished skirts which are sure to please his glitterati clientele. His denim all-in-one and a black leather motorcycle jumpsuit were covetable and had a street easy urban feel. “What is sexy today? It’s an attitude and with this collection I think I can show a girl sexy in a jumpsuit with a sweatshirt, or a bomber jacket, she can be fierce and sexy and that was my point of view today. “
Incredibly strong model casting ensured it was a stellar show. His models included Rosie Huntington Whiteley, Georgia May Jagger, Edie Campbell, Cameron Russell, Saskia de Brauw, Kasia Struss and Magdalena Frackowiak who all take to the runway with loose, flowing hair and very little makeup.
With his latest Spring 2014 collection Olivier Rousteing illustrated that he can dress the Balmain woman for any occasion, but is keen to keep the vampy luxury as the central focus. “We all know the Balmain girl is a party girl obviously but, I really wanted to know what she looks like at nine in the morning,” said Olivier Rousteing.