AN ATELIER OF DEDICATED ARTISANS
ATELIERS AND ARTISANS
For over 75 years—ever since Pierre Balmain and the original house team first began working on the legendary “New French Style” couture collection of 1945— the Balmain atelier has stood apart, due to its absolute dedication to the art of Parisian couture and runway fashion.
Only in Paris do all the couture workers, from seamstresses to
mannequins, worship and treat a dress like a baby.... in Paris, when the day is over, the artisans are willing to stay and sacrifice their comfort, in order to produce something of great beauty.
“As the collection is being made, there is poetry in the air. I have sometimes stood on the pavement after dark and stared up at the House of Balmain, seeing every floor blazing with light and the dark shadows of busy artisans passing and repassing across the unshaded glass. And I have been there the next morning at 5 A.M. to see them still at it… I love the wildness in the air, the elation and the perennial feeling of the dress rehearsal that means, ‘We open tomorrow.’ It is as though the pavements of the rue François Premier were in some way electrified”
(Balmain Directrice from 1947 to 1976)
If a seam is not quite right, that is a matter of life and death.
“It’s true—Joni Mitchell never lies. You really don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. When the pandemic and lockdowns stopped my team and me from working together for months, it was an incredibly tough adjustment for all of us. We were just so used to working closely together on each step of every collection. But we adjusted. We figurined out a way to move forward, via endless Zooms, WhatsApps and non-stop texting. Somehow, we made it work. But I will never forget the lesson that I learned: Balmain only functions when this whole team can work as one, when we can all call upon each other’s talents and opinions.”
“In reality, what we were missing was each other, being together, working together.”
The Balmain Team Works Through A Pandemic
“Pushing The Limits Towards What Still Has Yet To Be Done”
An Introduction to the Balmain Atelier
“Fortunately, our friends—our colleagues—are always here to help.”
“My role is to find the new metal pieces. new techniques, that can match the theme.”
Anabelle Girod Supply
“Ennoblement is very broad at Balmain. It can either be new embroidery, pleating, 3D design… we are very free to propose new techniques to Olivier.”
Ennoblement And Couture Manager
“I believe that there is a need for a good collaborative atmosphere and the passion to do what we love.”
Graphic Design Manager
“He always tries to push boundaries. Relying on embroidery is quite an antique craft, but he reinvents it to fit in a modern world.”
“It can be very intense. But, at the same time, when you’re surrounded by a lot of creative people and they’re all full of motivation, everything seems less difficult.”
“The further a collection progresses, the more the volumes advance… it blossoms. It explodes.”
Pattern Maker Manager