Thursday 24th January

| BY Claudia Croft

Balmain: Couture SS19

“The inspiration is Paris. It’s about the beauty of France,” said Olivier Rousteing of his debut couture collection for Balmain. It was also about his vision. How would the ultimate millennial designer bring couture to his generation? With swooping silhouettes and dramatic detailing – that’s how. There were pearls plastic, denim leather, feathers and beads aplenty and a recurring graffiti print. Balmain girls are of the more-is-more persuasion. One pair of jeans was so encrusted with pearl beads and tulle frills that a thin slither of denim thread was the only hint of what lay beneath.

Rousteing spoke of the freedom of couture where practicalities are abandoned in favour of aesthetic impact. Some skirts were polished and spherical, like the House’s signature beads and baubles.
It’s been 14 years since Balmain last put on a couture show, although the ateliers have remained active, producing the lavishly beaded showpieces and red carpet one-offs with which Rousteing has made his name. With this show, held in the brand’s new flagship boutique, the young designer started another chapter for the house.

Photography by Jason Lloyd- Evans.