Paris Collections | Balmain S/S16
When it comes to getting prepared for your debut menswear show, Oliver Rousteing went all in with his new Balmain collection. Inspired by the safari looks, these models were definitely ready for adventure. His design aesthetic is ever present and its not hard to tell why the label is a celebrity favorite.
Starting the show off with the techno track “Prepare for Glory”, Rousteing selected some of the most well known models in the industry, opening and closing the show with Sean O’Pry and sprinkling a little Alessandra Ambrosio in for good measure. Not that the collection particularly needed these models to show off how well crafted each look was. No, these pieces can and will one hundred percent stand on their own.
The journey metaphor has quickly become the biggest inspiration for many shows this season. It’s all about the man who’s discovering the world, finding treasures, being strong and traveling with intention. Though the story of the Balmain man seems parallel, Rousteing is a leader on the fashion set by taking the label very far, very fast. Boldly moving his vision forward, this collection was very heavily embellished, so don’t let the Khaki hues fool you. This is Indian Jones on steroids.
From drill combat pants with a drop crotch and suspenders that gave a smooth nod to the hip hop culture to the house’s signature lush military braiding (in organic twine) was used to create the combat-ish ensembles. Taking inspiration from the adventurers of the 20th century, Rousteing successfully created intricately latticed and laced leather jackets and double breasted coats bearing gold buttons with ease. He also included his signature gold crests (a Union Jack flag or a lion’s head) on various pieces like a tiger-striped, pony skin bomber. The vests, hats and shirts were chic enough to make even the most conservative guy want to wear them but if nothing else, the safari backpack in perforated suede and nubuck were the most desirable, “must-have” accessory we’ve seen yet.