Olivier Rousteing presented his Fall 2012 collection for the French maison of Balmain and left all the fashion editors and buyers speechless. This is the second season that the Las Vegas native’s designs grace the runways of Paris. A decidedly androgynous collection was shown at Parish Fashion Week infused with Balmain’s signature rock inflected glamour.
The collection inspired by Elizabeth Taylor’s Fabergé eggs was definitely a more extensive riff on his pre-fall ‘12 collection with its intricate beaded jackets and menswear inspired tailoring. The story goes that Taylor was so infatuated with her collection that she once had a cake shaped as an Imperial Fabergé egg which was joked to have cost about as much as the real thing.
Balmain’s signature military looks were front and center, interpreted with pearl and gemstone beading and rose applique’s that looked like delicate oil paintings. While we saw less leather than we have in the past there were a few leather tops and pants that satisfied the rocker chic quota.The mini dresses were basically an extension of the jackets and decadent velvet suits were presented in a rich dark teal hue.
The palette overall was a mixture of pale blush, silver, powder blue, mint green and of course black black black. The shoes that were paired with just about every look were victorian looking lace-up booties that could have come right out of the Louis XIV era. Every single look was also belted or buttoned with intricately designed gold touches. That is in essence the Balmain signature, details.
Rousteing started working at Roberto Cavalli just five years ago and joined Balmain in 2009. The fact that Rousteing took the helm from his much loved predecessor Christophe Decarnin and has been able to seamlessly continue with Blamain’s sex charged androgynous spirit is amazing. It takes a lot to carry the razor-sharp tailored clothing and is not for the faint of hear- or wallet. With prices that usually run over the $3000 mark these pieces are more of a couture work of art than anything else. When asked about the collection after the show the 26 year old designer said, “It’s Balmain, we like to have fun.”