Friday 23rd June

| BY Jack Moss

Balmain: Menswear SS18

We love Balmain. J’adore it. It’s always full-on glam-a-rama. Sophia loves Olivier so much that I think she might adopt him. And today, the lovely Mr Rousteing was looking inwards. To himself. Which is a nice place to look, he’s a very handsome man. He said in the release that his favourite Instagram comments are the ones where people say “wow, you can speak French so well,” forgetting the obvious fact that his is, actually, French. And, referencing the triumph of Macron over Le Pen in the country’s leadership elections, he took this opportunity to celebrate his home country and deliver a collection he called his most personal yet. Clothes he wanted to wear, or was wearing. So there were stripes. Stripes on stripes on stripes. Stripes are very French. Here they were given the Balmain treatment – some shiny, others laid out in chains, some on Breton-style t-shirts that were open at the front (as Mr Rousteing himself chose for his bow). There were little boucle tweed jackets, baroque, wallpaper-y prints like those in Balmain HQ. The slim leg silhouette felt French too. Insouciant.

That said, the influence of the rest of the world did manage to creep in, specifically the US of A – coming through in tattered American flags that made for long tunic tops, or those Wild West moments, like the Sheriff-style toggles that sat throughout on collars. And the ladies, those leggy glamazons, were giving us full-on oil-rich Dynasty dressing – big shouldered tailoring cut away to reveal second-skin lace underneath. Dresses barely hit the thigh, worn with matching killer boots beneath. Slashes of studded leather. Which speaks to the sexy – these girls always are, but today, there was something ultra feminine about them too – the puffs on ruffles on the little flared skirts, or the sprays of feather, the ballerina tutu-like tulle. America meets Paris? Maybe. Either way, it’s always a most enjoyable show – Mr Rousteing feeds us full-on fashion fantasy season after season and darling – we gorge.

Photographs by Anna Stokland