Olivier Rousteing celebrated his 10th anniversary as Balmain’s Creative Director in a big way. The brand’s Spring 22 collection was full of glitz and opulence, perfect for celebrating a decade of success.
The Balmain show gave us Parisian fashion at its finest. Expert designer Olivier Rousteing has been behind one of the most legendary brands in the world now for a decade. In 2011, at just 25 years old, Olivier took over the brand and infused it with a youthful aesthetic that brought a new era of luxury to it. With his sensual designs, he positioned the brand as the uniform for modern, glamorous it-girls.
To present his 10th anniversary collection, the designer decided to hold The Balmain Festival V02 (the first festival took place in 2019), and music, art, and fashion came together in an event full of energy and fun, featuring performances by Doja Cat and Franz Ferdinand at the Seine Musicale in Paris. In the true spirit of Balmain and Rousteing, the event was an extravagant spectacle in which the level of opulence was almost too much, but in a good way. During the festival, at 8:30 p.m. on September 29th, the Balmain Spring 22 runway show took place.
The Balmain show was like an opera. The overture was performed by none other than Beyonce, who in a recording congratulated Olivier on his work, strength, and dedication at the helm of Balmain. This moment was magical not only because of Queen Bey’s beautiful and emotional words but because it highlighted how much Olivier has grown at the brand.
In the next act, we watched the story of Balmain’s sensuality and modernism play out. We saw elements of the brand’s past interspersed with new designs and a fresh vision that gives way to an avant-garde aesthetic. Sexy becomes elegant and luxury becomes sportswear. These opposing concepts coexist to create well-designed garments that are both beautiful and functional. We saw sportswear such as parachute jackets, knit garments, structured blazers that transform into bikinis, bondage dresses, tweed blazers in oversized silhouettes, nude dresses, and biker jackets. We saw silk, satin, wool, tweed, and leather combined with striped and polka dot prints, leather and cotton fringes, studs, and transparencies. To accompany the looks, the designer gave us maxi bags, XL backpacks, high-heeled sandals, knee-high boots, futuristic sunglasses, and chunky gold jewelry in neutral hues (white, black, nude) with accents of red and gold. Balmain presented a collection full of versatility that, although seemingly excessive, works perfectly and gives us a sensation of sensuality, modernity, and luxury.
The aria of this opera came with the arrival of supermodel Naomi Campbell clad in a long bodycon fishnet dress in chocolate brown walking to the tune of Beyoncé’s Halo. The crowd screamed with excitement and suddenly the entire place was filled with joy. Deities and muses Natasha Poly, Adut Akech, Imaan Hammam, Karen Elson, Milla Jovovich, Natalia Vodianova, Cindy Bruna, Lara Stone, Mariacarla Boscono, and Carla Bruni walked for the brand in gold, ivory, and brown. Balmain demonstrated his influence and importance in the industry and Olivier Rousteing rose to the highest rank in fashion with his #BalmainArmy of supermodels.
This is with a doubt one of the most emblematic runway shows I have been to. With a backdrop of screens flanked by two columns bearing the signature PB monogram, the models walked to a powerful soundtrack that the crowd absolutely loved. The only thing left to say is Congratulations Olivier on these magnificent 10 years at Balmain, a decade full of successes and victories! Can’t wait to see what’s next!