Olivier Rousteing’s challenge since taking over at Balmain has always been to stay true to the rock ’n’ roll aesthetic and trophy jackets that define the brand, while making sure it keeps moving forward and stays fresh each season.
This autumn/winter his embellishment took on a regal tone, which proved especially appropriate given that there was a Thai princess among the front-row guests. Rich, intricate and, at times, breathtakingly beautiful, cross-hatch designs were embroidered with metallic threads, pearls and golden studs on a backdrop of blush tones, pastel pinks and green.
There was a medieval feel throughout; high-collared mini dresses featured tapestry panels and metallic embroidery which resembled luxurious armour. Silhouettes were top heavy with boxy jackets, oversized jumpers and exaggerated shoulders emphasising sleek leather pencil skirts and brocade-printed velvet trousers, finished with staple black high-heeled Chelsea boots.
Luxury and opulence permeated every piece – even the suiting had a subtle sheen. This was the Balmain girl turning her back on an all-night warehouse party in favour of a more elegant evening soirée, but still maintaining her trademark edge.