Sunday, January 20, 2019


Balmain Fall/Winter 2019 Menswear Show

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"You might remember that our colorful Balmain Men’s Spring 2019 collection celebrated the incredible style and empowering message of the artist who has been on auto-replay throughout my entire life: Michael Jackson. And, for next fall, we continue to keep our eyes trained on Jackson—but we’re shifting the focus a bit. The tunes that were playing while my team and I were working on today’s offering, (from Bowie and Prince, as well as Jackson), helped pushed me to reflect upon how those artists, with their desire to always beautifully rebel against outdated norms, limits and labels, forever altered art and fashion and helped shaped the way that my generation views the world today.

Building upon their rebellious spirit, today’s runway follows a trajectory of fashion and social insurrection, with riffs on ‘90s oversized, slouchy silhouettes set up against rock’s tough snarls and the self-assured strength of today’s urban nonconformists. The collection may be largely monochromatic, with several looks playing on a punk DIY aesthetic—but don’t confuse a lack of gold and sparkle with a move away from Balmain’s singular couture heritage. This house’s exceptional tailoring skills are, as always, front and center and close inspection immediately makes clear that I continue to rely on the unparalleled craftsmanship and inventiveness of Balmain’s atelier.

There’s one touch of this ode to rebellion that’s particularly personal. Many designs incorporate messages pushing back against the bots, greed and mean-spirited trolling that have dimmed the hopes that we once shared for a liberating digital age of free, honest and respectful communication. In spite of the ugly exchanges that we witness daily, I continue to believe that we can attain our initial dreams of open-spirited exchanges of knowledge, experiences and beliefs—and my runway texts reflect that desire, relying on straightforward truths to reply to those wishing to silence, belittle and bully."

Olivier Rousteing
Paris, 18 January 2019

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