BALMAIN X EVIAN
Balmain and Evian underline their shared commitment to a sustainable future
As Olivier Rousteing often points out, one should never confuse a reverence for heritage with a reluctance to innovate for the future.
“Of course, I rely on the richness of this house’s archives for inspiration and the incredible traditional savoir-faire of Balmain’s legendary atelier to make my designs possible,” notes Rousteing. “But I am determined to use those tools in entirely new ways, in order to create surprising, innovative and—above all—modern collections. My team and I are always on the lookout for inventive solutions that would allow us to use time-honored Parisian finesse to masterfully perfect the latest 21st-century breakthroughs in tech, craft and tissue. And that’s why we really loved exploring all the possibilities for the Balmain x Evian partnership.”
Highlighting the deep commitment that Balmain and Evian share for a more sustainable future, 2022’s Balmain x Evian collaboration centered on a truly modern couture creation, crafted from a singular fabric woven in part from threads created from recycled Evian plastic bottles (evian rPET flakes). Since a high percentage of the fabric relied directly upon recycled plastic,
it easily met the exacting standards of the GRS4.0—The Global Recycled Standard Certificate, one of the most difficult sustainable standards to meet in the fashion industry—which requires that at least 20% of a certified product be created from recycled materials. And since the couture gown’s fabric was a mono-material tissue, it would also be easy to recycle.
Rousteing played with the unique sculptural possibilities of the innovative tissue to place the focus squarely on water’s purity and power, riffing on the hypnotic and magnetic pathway of a whirlpool. Expert pleating multiplied the fabric’s ever-changing, aquatic-like brilliant shimmer and sparkle, while volumes mimiced the maelstrom’s seductive swirls, which encircled the central vortex of the model who premiered this creation during Paris Fashion Week’s Balmain Festival celebration, on the evening of September 28th.
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Another key component of the collaboration, Olivier Rousteing’s design for a unique, limited-edition Balmain x Evian bottle relied on a complex and ornate pattern that covered the familiar Evian glass silhouette. The pattern replicated the signature Baroque embellishments that add drama and richness to every one of Rousteing’s collections for Balmain.
As Rousteing explains, those Baroque forms channel historic adornments that surround and inspire him:
“When I walk the avenues of Paris, I am constantly drawn to the examples of ornamentation set atop this city’s most impressive monuments and structures—and that distinctive beauty is often echoed in my work. Knowing that flamboyant Baroque flourishes are so often paired with priceless materials to frame some of France’s most splendid creations, I couldn’t think of a better pattern to highlight the precious contents of Evian’s bottles: incomparably beautiful, crystal-clear natural mineral water.”
To celebrate the launch of the limited-edition Balmain x Evian bottle, a special grouping of Evian x Balmain Army members stared in an inspirational campaign video that focused on Olivier Rousteing’s distinctive dedication to building upon heritage, while always pushing for the needed changes that will help to ensure a better tomorrow.