Balmain: Menswear AW17
We’re all figured that 2016 wasn’t the great year on record, for many reasons. We’re not going to mention the politician whose surname is synonymous in Britain with flatulence – and who is also, ironically, full of hot air – whose win was a major upset. Rather, we’ll talk about loss – the loss of David Bowie, of Prince, and of George Michael, sneaking in right at the end when we thought the proverbial had already hit the fan. But these rockstar deaths hit their fans hard. Olivier Rousteing was obviously a fan – of their music, and style. His Blaming boys have always been rockstars, and his shows an ode to the blinged-out style of those for whom performance isn’t just a way of life, but a living in itself. He went to the Met gala with Justin Bieber, for Madonna’s sake. For his winter 2017 collection, however, Rousteing went all-out with an ode to the lavish sartorial mores of those great rock performers we lost, and more. He dubbed this show “a reminder of the liberating power of music” – and if you didn’t think Rousteing could get any freer when it came to designing, you were in for an eye-socking dose of full-octane Balmain decoration, with beaded jackets re-embroidered with sequins and beads, houndstooth checks blown up big and twisted with chains, tartans bugle-beaded and leathers quilted and studded with nailhead gold pinpricks, in outfits that screamed for a rock-stadium to light up with their sparkles. Given Rousteing’s own fan-base, that’s probably exactly where they’ll end up.
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans