Balmain Spring 2012


“Something a bit Mexican, bullfighter’s costumes, and wallpaper from Vegas.”

 I am actually properly posting about Balmain this season.  With a new creative director at the helm, I am intrigued by what he had to say in the Vogue preview.

 In spite of a rather eclectic mix of sources of inspiration, Olivier Rousteing signals a return to the decadent heritage of Pierre Balmain with this richly intricate collection.  It is hard to imagine how a collection inspired by Las Vegas, matadors, and cowboys can possibly turn out well, but somehow, Rousteing manages it with aplomb.  And although he carries on the sexy “clubbing” aesthetic of his predecessor, there is a renewed element of haute couture to his first official venture–from the remarkably detailed glittering embroidery to the skillful precise cut of every piece.   I certainly will not say that Balmain’s aesthetic of rock n roll sexiness is my favorite, but I can still appreciate the amount of  dedication and work that he has put into carrying off the minute detail that he has.  Moreover, Rousteing has surprisingly knowledgeable technique for someone so young.  With his geometric, chevroned gold beading and embossed faded baroque curliques, he executes this rather ambitious collection precisely and perfectly in sync with current desire for Deco.  And while Rousteing has given much respect to his predecessors, particularly Pierre and de la Renta, this collection is also reflects his own particular point of view.  The homage is all good and well, but his voice is what truly rises in this renewal, and it is “coming out in fully in favor of unfettered, exuberant bling” as Sarah Mower would say.

Oh, and I love what he wore for his final bow.

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