Monday 6th July

| BY Paul Toner

Balmain Marks 75th Anniversary With a Couture Spectacle On Water

This year marks Balmain’s 75th anniversary. Yes, you heard right. For three-quarters of a century, the French couture house has been dressing the ultimate ladies of luxury in some of the finest fashions Paris has had to offer. Such a momentous achievement deserves a celebration of mammoth proportions, and Balmain wasn’t about to let Covid-19 restrictions get in the way of its big birthday bash. Yesterday evening, the house staged its first socially-distanced fashion show on a barge that sailed along the river Seine. Onboard was creative Olivier Rousteing, who was joined by 21 models all sporting dazzling creations pulled from Balmain’s couture archive.

Soundtracked by the sounds of French signer Yseult, the Balmain army sailed by the Eiffel Tower, beside the Notre-Dame cathedral and under the Pont des Arts – where members of the public watched safely from a distance, as did thousands of people on TikTok. Onboard, Rousteing mixed signature looks pulled from his own archive with couture creations from founder Pierre Balmain, as well as Oscar de la Renta and Erik Mortensen, who have both held the helm at the house. Towering high on metallic plinths, dresses that have previously been worn by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé were particular standouts, as were a series of gowns from Pierre Balmain himself, legendary for their “jolie madame” sensual sillhoute crafted just after World War II. “It was a moment that I will never forget presenting the couture of 75 years of Balmain since 1945 has been magical,” wrote Rousteing on Instagram. “My point was spreading some beauty and love in the world that we are living in.”