The Balmain Army Marches On
Posted on May 19 2020
Balmain’s SS20 showcase, which coincided with Paris’ Fête de la Musique was a spectacle for all in attendance to behold. Olivier Rousteing’s own show was presented alongside the exciting arrangement of musical talent on show for the annual festival.
Rousteing sought to channel the spirit of the 80s for his collection, deconstructing and reimagining the quintessential colours and styles of the era in a new, futuristic element. The energy generated at the event was absolutely electrifying, almost as if to echo the generally upbeat mood of the early 80s. The incredible synergy of the festival and the presentation clearly was not coincidental, but entirely of Rousteing’s own doing.
“I want this to be a collection for today, but also for 2050 or 2060, with all the chic and playfulness and craftsmanship of Balmain, and my French touch with all the polka dots and stripes”
- Olivier Rousteing
The heavy 80s era influence was immediately noticeable in the eclectic mix of Easter egg pastel colours, monochromatic patterns and “Miami Vice” inspired graphics. These were somewhat harshly juxtaposed with slouchy tailored blazers and trench coats in mirrored silvers and PVCs; a projection of things to come for the fashion industry encapsulated within Rousteing’s futuristic vision.
The presentation gave us an exciting glimpse into what the Balmain man (and woman) may look like in the future. And if Rousteing continues to have his way, that future couldn’t come any sooner…
A final word on Wonder Boy
Olivier Rousteing’s autobiographical documentary Wonder Boypremiered a little later on in the same year. Directed and produced by Anissa Bonnefont, Wonder Boy explores the origins of Rousteing’s birth and ancestry, offering a stripped back and refreshingly honest insight into the humble beginnings of one of contemporary fashion’s most iconic figures.
The documentary foregoes the filtered and fantastical observation of Olivier Rousteing’s world, instead choosing to focus on the designer’s introspective exploration of his own reality. We watch as Rousteing uncovers the secrets of his own identity and grapples with personal issues surrounding race, immigration, celebrity culture and so much more.
Wonder Boy is an inspirational piece of art that adds new chapters to a story we thought we knew. One that challenges our own understanding of what it means, and more importantly what it takes, to succeed against the odds in such a competitive and notoriously exclusive industry.