Ever since Olivier Rousteing took over, Balmain has become synonymous with extravagant reference points such as Fabergé eggs, Ziggy Stardust, and the excess of the 1980s, as well as glamorous destinations like Las Vegas and Miami. His collections can be relied upon for three things: lean rock ‘n’ roll silhouettes accentuated by big shoulders, intense beading and embroidery details, and blinged-out decoration. This is the wardrobe for women who possess fast-paced, flashy lifestyles. For all those reasons, it came as a bit of a surprise to see Rousteing take pause for Fall/Winter 2014. Instead of looking toward bright lights and big cities, he turned inward for an introspective collection that examined both his youth and his notions of freedom. This is scaled-back Balmain style (which still means there is plenty of splash and pizzazz sizzling its way through the collection, we promise). The collection launched with a variety of safari looks done in tough leathers, intricate embroidery, and glossy silks. This quickly gave way to an African-inspired portion that included high-wattage leopard prints, layered cord chokers, and tribal embellishment. One of Rousteing’s most impressive feats was how he worked a nest of ropes into spectacular tops and stunning dresses – a look that is inherently couture and very complex in the making. For risk-taking, adventurous jetsetters, this collection is a status-maker.
Photos: Courtesy of GoRunway