Olivier Rousteing's Balmain Army Marches Into Pre-Fall 2018 With Great Words For New Owners

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Balmain's Creative Director Olivier Rousteing introduced the luxury brand's Pre-Fall 2018 Collection. Digital artist and retoucher Pascal Dangin eyes the go-forward, strong-woman members of Rousteing's Balmain Army: Katrin Zakharova, Yvonne, Valery Kaufman, Aleyna FitzGerald and Katrin Thormann. / Makeup by Phophie Mathias; hair by Yoann Fernandez

“It’s hard for a designer after seven years to feel like there can be a new chapter,” admitted Rousteing, ever youthful (and talking about his new owners Mayhoola for Investments, and new CEO, Massimo Piombini) . “They’re making me feel that there’s a new story to tell.” But all this internal reinforcement wasn’t the only story behind such a dazzlingly Parisian collection. With his take on the French tricolor—that is, blue, silver, and red—the designer was seizing on the positive energy so palpable in the French capital right now. He electrified the motif as zigzag and chevron patterns so that the results registered equal parts patriotic and Ziggy Stardust. Dialed up, this David Bowie via Pierre Balmain vibe played out as fresh velvet versions of his maximalist rock star jackets, which he paired with embellished concert tees, and strass-studded velvet leggings, masculine trousers, or patent jeans. Dialed down, it was present in comparatively wearable Prince of Wales suiting and herringbone cotton tweeds. The heritage aspect was most apparent in the liberal use of a medallion referring to the maison crest created roughly a half-century ago. Consider the emblem an updated way for his Balmain army to signal their continued allegiance. via Vogue