Monday 25th June

| BY Richard Gray

Balmain: Menswear Spring/ Summer 2019

With menswear an estimated 40% of turnover at Balmain, the pressure is on Olivier Rousteing to deliver. And since taking over the storied French house, and shifting the sexy and glamourous codes to chime with a more couture sensibility, the designer has increased turnover and attracted a whole new raft of celebrity clients. They turn to him every season for his instinctive feel for glamour and fashion: he knows what a female celebrity needs from a dress and a male celebrity from a suit. And then, of course, the rest of us who just want to dress up! Nothing can be left to chance in the red carpet world. As a celebrity, your pictures are beamed everywhere all the time, and pitch you and your brand against endless competition. Rousteing knows this and his customers trust him. For his Spring ‘19 show, just: a tribute to Michael Jackson. Letterman jackets with rhinestones galore and a Michael Jackson ‘Beat It’ super-sparkle series of beautifully cut and top-drawer jackets. A Jackson world tour wardrobe motocross jacket in all manner of sparkly leathers was best. Short black tight trousers, black shoes and white socks brought some seriously extra MJ style. And those silver sequin American football shirts will be everywhere next spring. There were so many clothes and riffs on Jackson-mania it was hard to keep up. But that’s what Rousteing does: produces tons and tons of clothes every season his customers want and love.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans