Strong shoulders are a staple of the Balmain canon, and no era embraced strong shoulders more ferociously than the 80s. It stands to reason that this decade is a favorite of designer Olivier Rousteing, he of the shoulder-padded silhouette. And true to form, at Balmain he didn’t just embrace the 80s. He radicalized it.
At Balmain, designer Olivier Rousteing didn’t just embrace the 80s. He radicalized it.
So many of the looks were covetably cool: quilted jackets trimmed with leather and worn with umpire striped blouses and slouchy leather trousers, blush pink transparent lace blouses with billowing sleeves, and a majorly hip 80s suit featuring a graphic oversized houndstooth print. Clear Lucite chains provided weight to bouncy, light mini dresses trimmed with marabou feathers, and a padded and sheer mint green blouse glittered with tiny silver embellishments. More extreme looks like quilted leather jumpsuits with splashy gold hardware and chain-strapped patchwork denim were harder to chew. Occasionally, when stripes, chains, quilted textures, and checkers combine, the apparel is lost underneath detailing that is just too dense. What is clear is that Balmain’s aesthetic has been firmly redefined by Rousteing. While mind-boggling embellishment is still key, Rousteing is keen to keep vampy luxury as a central focus. For all of their decorative elements, the clothes look ridiculously expensive – and that’s part of the Balmain promise. Pierre Balmain himself once won over the Duchess of Devonshire as a client for openly catering to well-bred women who had never worked a day in their life, knowing it was they for whom fine fashion was paramount.
Photos: Courtesy of GoRunway