4th September 2023

Balmain Women’s AW23 Campaign

Olivier Rousteing collaborates with Rafael Pavarotti to release a haunting story. By THE FALL

For those that remember, Olivier Roustieng’s AW23 show at Paris Fashion Week earlier this year was a pared-back affair.  For someone known as a Beyoncé-level threat around the world when it comes to contemporary glamour, the intimate, almost salon-like atmosphere destabilised those of us accustomed to Rousteing’s spectacle at fashion weeks.

For the Balmain women’s AW23 campaign, the designer returns to that familiar style of presentation to again allow the focus to centre on the precise Parisian tailoring and architectural volumes the founder Pierre Balmain was lovingly known for.  This New French Style is brought to vivid, colourful life by Brazilian born photographer and creative artist Rafael Pavarotti – the man behind the lens for recent Dior and Off-White campaigns.

“I’m a big fan of [his] richly layered creations,” says Rousteing of his collaborator.  “I knew that his distinctive vision, with its mastery of light, colour and texture, would offer the ideal pathway to make very clear the ever-bold power of Balmain’s singular craftsmanship, codes and cuts.  I could not be happier with the final result.”

With styling from Charlotte Stockdale and Katie Lyall, Pavarotti’s images aspire to high art, with ‘ghosting’ effects around our models approximating the movement of brush strokes to add extra drama to the story’s narrative.  Abstract poses and intermittent theories on reflection combine with spectacular colours and an extraordinary cast to perfectly channel the deep roots of couture’s traditions and craft combined with the beauty of 21st century Paris.

Alluding to the staging of the aforementioned show, there are no extravagant props in use here, no dream locations as backdrops and no post-production CGI.  All eyes are drawn to the outlines and silhouettes, and it becomes almost hypnotic.  The result is vintage, contemporary and timeless all at the same time – a perfect description for Olivier Rousteing’s Balmain in the modern era.


To read our review of the Balmain AW23 show from PFW, click here

Click here for more information on the Balmain women’s AW23 campaign

More in The Fashion...