Fall/Winter 1991 brought about a momentous occasion, one that marked a change in fashion forever. It was the inaugural year of a new decade, one that was in transition away from the pomp and hyperbole of the 80s, and Gianni Versace had a vision for the future. His show was populated by powerful women wearing glamorous clothes — the mood was uplifting, liberating, and downright raucous. Down the runway to a backing soundtrack of “Freedom ‘90” by George Michael came a parade of supermodels: Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington. In all their ferocious glory, they danced down the runway. A quarter of a century later, Olivier Rousteing called in a repeat performance at Balmain, ushering in the Fall/Winter 2015 season with a spectacular show that boasted a flagrant sense of style and a stunning line-up of models.
Not only did the casting of the Balmain presentation and the vibrant color palette recall the work of Versace’s “Freedom ‘90” show, but so did a certain talked–about hair transformation. Back in ‘91, Evangelista unveiled her platinum locks on the runway at Versace and, in 2015, front-row regulars Kim Kardashian and Jared Leto fought for camera clicks in new platinum ‘dos. The parallels just kept coming.
Balmain’s sensibilities were as lavish as always, but more refined in volume and fit this time around. The silhouette was skintight at the bodice and fluid below, marrying together crisscross halter tops with floor-scraping pleated skirts or wide-leg trousers in dyed lace or velvet. Swinging fringe came in glittering metallics and decorated Balmain’s mini dresses, multi-colored skirts, and cropped long-sleeved tops. Vivid colors were either uniformly solid or blended in colorblock patterns reminiscent of 1990s street art. As much as Rousteing prevailed upon glitter embellishment, none of the looks fared better than his separates and cocktail dresses that were decorated with stripes in micro sequins. It was all very glamorous and swishy, but some looks read mature, especially when worn by a younger cast of superstar models. The effect was something more akin to what Kris Jenner would wear than Kendall, but the less covered-up looks were steadfastly youthful. Coalesced into one magnificent spectacle, Balmain’s flashy display was not for the timid.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree