THE HOUSE CODES
It’s all about context. Olivier Rousteing may be best known for all of those graphic black-and-whites, powerful pastels and, of course, that familiar Balmain combo of the richest of golds and the deepest of blacks—but the designers does also like to occasionally play with vivid colors. And, when he does that, Rousteing knows the secret of always providing the perfect backdrop for those eye-catching bright tones and fluorescent pops. That’s why, on most Balmain runways, Rousteing’s most vivid color choices tend to rely on white, black or sleek grey environments and pairings.
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BALMAIN SPRING 2021
With so many of evenings during COVID lockdowns spent bingewatching childhood favorites, it’s no surprise that all the non-stop streaming helped re-open Olivier Rousteing’s eyes to the power of the bright tones, sharp tailoring and incredible graphic patterns that defined the look of so many popular series of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Inspired by those “Fresh Prince” and “Miami Vice” signature styles, Rousteing gave a bright and optimistic spin to many of his designs.
Our Spring 2021 collection’s reliance on so many bright tones
during the darkest days of the pandemic is very much a reflection of Balmain’s singular history. Optimism and audacity are key strands of the house’s DNA. We can never forget that 75 years ago, Pierre Balmain was willing to take a very daring bet—after years of war, occupation and suffering, he set out to found his own house during an unstable time of shortages, outages and worries, immediately after France’s liberation. He was young, daring and confident that better days lay ahead.
BALMAIN PRE-FALL 2020
The many jewel tones of this collection reference both the famous excess of the ‘80s and Olivier Rousteing’s deep respect for the rebellious spirit of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, when Pierre Balmain dressed the most beautiful film stars of the day, including Bardot, Fonda and Loren.
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BALMAIN FALL 2020
Inside this collection inspired in part by the iconic styles of early astronauts and pioneering pilots, Olivier Rousteing was determined to mix in some powerful fluorescents and vivid tones among all those khaki greatcoats and shimmering silver anti-g jumpsuits.
BALMAIN SPRING 2020
2020 A multitude of bright pops of color and powerful graphics were directly inspired by addictive melodies from Beyoncé, Britney, Christina and JLo—songs that Olivier Rousteing remembers playing in constant rotation while growing up in the ‘90s.
Pierre Balmain left behind a great legacy— and the house’s rich archives are overflowing with his many colorful creations. Olivier Rousteing often references Monsieur Balmain’s mastery of pairing the brightest tones with mid-century Parisian couture’s precise tailoring and streamlined elegance.