THE MODERN BALMAIN UNIVERSE
Written by Miss Hani on January 13, 2021
THE MODERN BALMAIN UNIVERSE
Well I am back and this time with something much more fabulous than the prior. Introducing BALMAIN. Balmain is a household name in fashion with outstanding couture and lavish timeless classic pieces with fabrics such as fur, especially as an accent, satins, tulle, pearls, and embroideries. Under the management of current creative director Olivier Rousteing, Balmain has flourished gracefully into the modern age and managed to capture the eye of the modern youth with exquisite collaborations.
A little history class though, we need to know where it all started. Founded in 1945 by Pierre Balmain who was actually studying architecture in Paris before recognising that fashion is his true calling, luckily it only lasted a year. He later on took up a job in Roberto Piguet fashion house as sketch artist in 1934. He would later move to House of Molynex as an assistant designer in 1934-1935. After he worked as designer with Lucien Lelong in 1939 and 1941-1955. He would later on meet Christian Dior and Hubert de Givenchy who had a huge impact on Balmain. His first designs where lavish and luxurious with the modest styles insisted on in war time, that came with the sideline of fragrances. A decade later in 1953, he came into the American market, showcasing his first collection under the name Jolie Madamé. In 1960 he sold his perfume line to Revlon and continued as a proprietor and creative director of Balmain until his death in 1982.
After Pierre’s death the house continued with several designers shifting ownership throughout the 1980’s. In 1993 Oscar De La Renta became the creative director of Balmain. This was a monumental moment for the house since he was the American to be head of design for this Persian fashion house. His first collection was debut on the runway in 1994, it was both critically and commercially acclaimed. He presented his last collection in 2002, After which he was succeeded by Laurent Mecier and Christophe Lebourg. However, one of his successors Christophe Decarnin completely maintained the brand’s aesthetic and rewrote Balmain’s history on his own way. He was into flashy clothes which was entirely with odds with the house’s previous collections and overall signature. He focused on evening wear making the brand’s new focal point, creating a provoking craze called “BALMANIA”
But what made Balmain such a great house as it is today? Well I would say its incredible designs but I’d be lying although it did have incredible impact on its growth. Balmain’s new age began with the birth and coining of the new age generation trend which marked the brand’s history. It included some of the world’s biggest stars such as Katharine Hepburn, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Sophia Loren. Balmain’s emphasis on elegance and perfectly tailored clothes have become a mega world standard.
Of all the persons who have ruled this Iconic house, Olivier Rousteing has brought Balmain into the 21st century with such glory. He might just be the one who launches Balmain fashion house among the iconic ones. At just 25, he has managed to impose a contemporary outlook that reflects the men and women of his own generation, THE BALMAIN ARMY —live their lives. He made some significant changes that have successfully grafted an immediately recognisable style on Balmain while maintaining Balmain’s rich history and archives of inspiration and fully utilised atelier’s [work shop] impressive mastery when it comes to traditional and convoluted haute couture techniques. Balmain’s history was changed and got its transformation by the incorporation of inclusive diversity of the modern universe, and the important place contrasting culture and music in the Morden timeline.
In all of Olivier’s collection he celebrates the rich history of haute couture with intricate mastery of techniques that is constantly amazing and inspiring. Through Olivier Rousteing love for music has found itself intertwined in the music industry. In 2020 Balmain mens spring fashion collection formed a part of Paris La Fète De Musiquie, Paris annual all night celebration of music. Issa mad ting y’all! With collars with Gasaffelstien, Kiddy Smile, Darren Cruss, Rag n Bone Man and Years and Years. The house has also collaborated with phenomenal artist like Beyonce on her coachella popularly known as Beychella in 2018 and Kanye West in his music video Wolves campaign from his album Life of Pablo. In 2014 Rihanna was the face of the Balmain spring/summer 2014 campaign. During the Sea of Testosterone runway Olivier incorporated dancers to portray his sea of testosterone thus the name.
Speaking about the music factor – Olivier has made it an internal element of his singular style, firmly believing that it’s impossible to separate fashion from music. The melody inspires him and the beats pushes him through the whole creative process, sometimes becoming a key component in his collections, letting everything else blend, finally resulting with a magnificent craftsmanship. During the Balmain x H&M collaboration an original music video was released starring Kendall Jenner taking part in a dynamic dance battle in a futuristic subway controlled by Olivier Rousteing himself.
“This is for the new H&M Balmain Nation, a complete collection that can be worn by different men and women on different continents, all part of the same world. I wanted to stay true to the DNA of Balmain, richly detailed, powerful and yet effortless,” says Olivier Rousteing.
“FASHION IS A REVOLUTION NOT AN EVOLUTION” 0livier Rousteing