Balmain SS24 – Paris Fashion Week
Olivier reinvents the humble Rose for PFW. By Mya Bungar
After watching the Balmain SS24 show, it was hard to believe that less than two weeks prior to Paris Fashion Week, 50 looks were stolen in transit between a Parisian airport and the Maison’s headquarters. In a remarkably quick turnaround, Olivier Rousteing and his team delivered a floral wonderland of expert tailoring and sculptural mastery for a celebration of art, clothes and beauty channelling architectural couture codes from the 40s and 50s.
A love letter to the rose, the collection centred on the flower in every design to manifest alternating auras of love and joy. Reinventing floral motifs from the archives, the pattern found itself printed on pleated, lettuce-hemmed skirts that cascaded down the catwalk, as well as in 3D iterations of the flower skilfully shaped out of porcelain, rubber and latex to offer a wealth of textures. Notably, a spectacular red, patent leather coat-dress was positively bursting with leather roses in full bloom from shoulder to hem.
Even rose shaped buttons decorated tailored blazers and waistcoats, adding a soft contrast to the sharp, precisely cut looks that the Maison is world-renowned for. Angularities were offset by curved peplums cinched in the waist to accentuate the hips. Pierre Balmain’s original design ideals shone though in Rousteing’s bold silhouettes and vibrant, contrasting colour palettes – especially with the famous petit pois polka dot on dresses that plunged at the neck or draped at the shoulder in impressive asymmetry.
“You can complain about rose stems having thorns,” said the designer, “or you can celebrate the fact that thorn bushes produce roses”. Choosing to stress the latter, the collection focused almost as equally on the thorn as it did the flower. Crinoline dresses became trellises for vines, leaves and thorny roses that weaved themselves in and out of their structures, bringing fluidity and rigidness together in perfect harmony.
Every aspect of Balmain SS24 centred on maximalism, in keeping with Rousteing’s own personality of boundless possibilities and shameless optimism. Unflinching and extravagant, there were few places for quiet luxury in the show. Love and joy became synonymous with the poetry of the rose in every look “because we could all use a whole lot more joy, beauty and love today” concluded Rousteing.
To read our review of the Balmain AW23 show from PFW, click here
Click here for more information on Balmain AW23