Thursday 28th September

| BY Richard Gray

Balmain: Ready-to-Wear SS18

At the backstage bunfight which followed Olivier Rousteing’s standout show for Balmain, just, the fashion press and high-spending buyers queued up to congratulate the French mega-talent. The designer displayed a new and exciting confidence, with a series of show-stopping looks which married Couture embroidery techniques and sexy shapes.

Translated, this meant a series of standout super-tight dresses, frock coats and short jackets, which married delicate voile and silk flowers with sections of diamanté and intricate beadwork and 20 or so red carpet frocks to keep Hollywood sated for awards season. From frocks to daywear with a sexy twist and a Balmain twinset – stripy bra-top with matching cropped jacket in black and white bouclé, and a left-to-right striped, deep v sequin pullover worn with black sequin pants – show Rousteing vying for that all-important time before cocktails. A windowpane-check dungaree with gilt chain shoulder straps was a cheeky wink to the coolest members of the Balmain Army.

A quick word about the leather work – something the house has made its own amongst the highly competitive Paris ateliers – the best of it, and there was plenty to choose from, came in black with ribbed leather sections cleverly pieced together to create a monochrome zip-front bra-top-style dress (look 46) with a wild and beautifully executed fluting on the hem. This kicked around wildly when it moved and sent everybody’s iPhones crazy.

See too exit 53, and a long, leather tailored dress-coat intersected with gilt chain and dangly bits on the hem. And back to the debut look – exit 1 – and Rousteing cleverly married bondage and the playsuit with a patent bib-and-brace number paired back with a crisp white shirt. Said 10’s Editor-in-Chief Sophia “…it was like an Allen Jones moment in movement – sexy, modern and ultimately in charge!” The Balmain girls just got even more gorgeous.

www.balmain.com