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BALMAIN PRE-FALL ’21 IS ANYTHING BUT WFH CASUAL

Don’t even think about mentioning the phrase work from home style in front of Olivier Rousteing. The Balmain creative director has had it with the notion of dressing down, and so for his Pre-Fall ’21 collection, he upped the ante with all-out glamour.

With that in mind, this fully-fledged offering (comprised of well over 100 looks for womenswear and menswear) was all about the rediscovery of needing clothes for beyond the home again: for socializing, traveling, celebrating, and so forth. In short, Rousteing called it his most hope-filled collection yet. To help embody that optimism, he has recently reintroduced the maze-like PB-Labyrinth pattern on clothes and accessories, inspired by how the founder of the house (Pierre Balmain) successfully steered the label through post World War II rationing and economic turmoil. This time around, the print looks glossy and luxe—particularly on millennial pink pea coats, Clueless-esque co-ords, pleated tennis skirts, vintage-style luggage, and Swarovski-embellished trophy jackets.

Speaking of jackets, the strong Pagoda shoulder that he tends to favor made frequent appearances—not just on blazers, but on blouses and dresses too. It was one way that Rousteing incorporated his ‘greatest hits’ into the collection: we were full of joy to see the Fabergé egg-inspired embroideries that put the young designer on the map back in 2012 again. The reason for the stroll down memory lane is that his 10-year anniversary at the helm of the label is fast approaching next spring (it’s hard to believe that he’s still only 35!) Of the upcoming milestone, he said: “I was intoxicated by new possibilities back then, as I sent out and youthful pastels—and today I feel that same spirit of fresh potentials and possibilities.”

In other words: a hopeful outlook to go with a hopeful collection.


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