Balmain

By
Photography Louise Damgaard

Published September 29, 2014

It girls Joan, Karlie, Rosie, Binx, and Jourdan were there, as was Kendall (and Kris and Kim and Kanye seated front row). The afternoon’s soundtrack—a medley of Michael and Janet Jackson’s “Scream,” and West and Rihanna’s “All of the Lights”—provided a clear, sharp glimpse into the inspiration behind Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing’s Spring 2015 collection.

Black-and-white grids were printed onto crêpe de chine; white leather squares were bound with strips of black leather and gold staples; Rubik’s Cube-colored strips of leather and glimmering pieces of strass were also manipulated into grid patterns and woven together like a Mondrian painting.

Rousteing shared, “I’ve always been inspired by Yves Saint Laurent. Like him, I love all kinds of women, and how he mixed sexiness with something that was also a little bit boyish.” To execute his uninhibited mission, Rousteing looked no further than his muse, Rihanna, and her keen ability to “look very sexy in baggy pants and a too-big bomber jacket.”

This street-sexy vibe was best explored in the look worn by Andreea Diaconu: an oversize vest in white cloqué with black leather at the arms and waist, paired with a body skimming midi-length skirt and aggressively sexy heels. Other standouts include cris-cross LBD’s with the slightest nod to bondage; smoking jackets and cape combinations with suggestive cutouts; and trompe l’oeil knit plissé jumpsuits, designed to simultaneously conceal and reveal certain parts of a woman’s silhouette. Then, of course, there was Rousteing’s take on activewear for evening, namely track pants, their racing stripes finished in caviar beads. While some may criticize the collection for being too derivative or one-note, Rousteing (with the help of the show’s musical accompaniment) certainly drove home the point that he simply wants to please himself. Is that such a bad thing?

For more from Paris Fashion Week S/S 2015, click here.