Fashion Week

Balmain brings couture to the Seine

The creative director of the maison, Olivier Rousteing, has decided to create a phygital event that anticipates the French couture fashion week. It will be possible to attend in livestream only on TikTok and during the show the performance of the French artist Yseult is scheduled
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75 years of Balmain and a show that will become legend. Special ingredients? The Eiffel Tower, the Seine and a boat covered with mirror effect reflective platforms. The new catwalk was in fact mobile, and the models, twelve to be exact, were living statues on mirrored pedestals. On the commemorative show, also the archival pieces of Pierre Balmain and his successors such as Oscar de La Renta and Erik Mortensen , but also the coutures of Rousteing himself . During the event there was Yseult's live musical performance. Live performances are part of the soul of the new Balmain course. Under the guidance of Rousteing there have always been dance shows and mini live concerts over the years. The eclectic Olivier, after a pre-show photo session directed by him, also invited a group of dancers, led by the choreographer Jean-Charles Jousni, former choreographer of his last men's show, to perform in a live performance along the river.

During the lockdown the designer began to draw parallels between Balmain's story and the experiences surrounding the pandemic. Pierre Balmain founded his fashion house in 1945 during the destruction of the Second World War. Her " Jolie Madame" silhouette has become a symbol of hope and restoration alongside Christian Dior's " New Look" and will go down in fashion history as a moment of optimism, embodying the fighting spirit of the high fashion industry. "We are not going through a war," Rousteing acknowledged, "but we are going through a pandemic. Fashion is in a difficult moment. I don't think the answer is doing nothing, in reality it is trying to respect the world in which we live and give a little hope ". Monsieur Balmain has always dressed unconventional women as well as Olivier. The first dress Pierre sold to Princess Ghislaine de Polignac, followed by the Duchess of Kent, the Duchess of Windsor, the Countess Charles Emmanuel de la Rochefoucauld, the Queen Sirikit of Thailand, who were joined by the wealthiest bourgeois and the artists and eccentric divas like Josephine Baker and Marlene Dietrich . He dressed Katherine Hepburn in the film Les Millionaires in which the actress had the part of the most elegant woman in the world. He created the first, very tight, sexy, black dress for Juliette Gréco , a dress that became the uniform of existentialists. Later, in the mid-1950s, even Brigitte Bardot, opposed to fashion , when she had to go to London to be introduced to Queen Elizabeth, turned to him.   A meeting between royalty, bourgeoisie and pop culture, a mix that Rousteig has kept alive during his artistic direction, dressing women of the caliber of Michelle Obama but also contemporary icons such as Beyoncé or Kim Kardashian . And surely after three months of lockdown in Paris, this show was for Olivier a hymn to femininity in all its forms, to joy and to the return to life, with respect for social distances, of course.

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