Balmain S/S 2016

French Foreign Legion Chic

“I like my men and women to be able to come to the same store to buy their clothes,” insisted Olivier Rousteing after a pumped-up menswear show, laced with smoldering women’s looks – that both looked very much in-synch.

Bullet-holding details on the breast pocket are very military Balmain
Bullet-holding details on the breast pocket are very military

Featuring all of Rousteing design tricks and rockets – lace-ups, crystal encrusted mesh, Ancient World mythology and badass Bolero cuts – this was a memorable display or rock’n roll heroic style. For both guys and gals.

His key looks for guys did stretch cultures and centuries – like a gent whose head was topped by a delivery boy’s cap and feet clad in centurion’s boots. Rousteing’s fertile imagination also came up with fantastic leggings, laced at the side, or motorbike style padded kneecaps, pairing these with his own preferred bolero jacket. Think the Village People playing for the Emperor Octavian.

The Balmain man never runs out of pockets
The Balmain man never runs out of pockets

Mixed in were some sensational women’s outfits. Few better than one crocheted super heroine mini cocktail dissected by a massive brass belt and topped with an enormous black coral choker. This was all flashing by before the funkiest front-row in Paris this weekend: from Americans Kris Kardashian and Amar’e Stoudemire and from France, football greats, Paul Pogba and Karim Benzema.

 

Balmain’s Bolero tailoring
Balmain’s Bolero tailoring

The designer said he looked for inspiration to the early explorers of the early 20th. What hit the runway though felt like many of the travelers had taken a preparatory course in Ancient Rome, and a stop in Carnaby Street to pick up some Union Jack leggings. The sandy color story and multi-pocket approach on everything also made you think of a fighter in the Foreign Legion.