The Balmain Resort 2024 Collection
Even though Olivier Rousteing has been at Balmain for the better part of a decade at this point, he claims that he is still “finding confidence” with the brand. During a visit to the designer’s shop, the designer shared, “I try to treat almost every day of my life as if it were a new chapter.”
To go into the archives of a designer whose name is now more strongly linked with Rousteing than it is with a founder’s signature—the sort that, decades, if not a century after the fact, retains the lifeblood of other historical houses—requires a certain amount of self-assurance. It may sound paradoxical, but it is important to have this kind of self-assurance. When you mention Pierre Balmain, very few people will be able to conjure up a catchphrase such as “jolie madame.”
Exploring Balmain’s legacy may now take on a fresh direction given that Rousteing is no longer under pressure to show his worth. This may imply sculpted “jolie madame” jackets with rounded shoulders and nipped waists or culottes, in colour combinations that make a statement, such as red, light blue, and mint. Alternatively, a leopard print woven with lurex jacquard. Or even hats that take their design cues from the ’50s and ’70s, presented here in the authentic proportions of their eras. It’s possible that this will imply an enlarged take on the classic lavaliere blouse. Alternatively, it may be a top made of carved leather, or the incorporation of formerly separate elements, such as archival needlework or a crystal brooch, into a single garment.
The designer saw that living after the epidemic had brought about a dramatic shift. The designer remarked that “chic and comfort take on a new meaning every decade, and today things have shifted again,” and he was right. “During the time of Covid, everyone wore loungewear. People today want to be seen in garments that are more distinctive. When you already have a million hoodies, a unique jacket has a fresh attraction that Rousteing has compared to that of a piece of art, although art that is less covert riches (let alone norm-core) and more in-your-face. In other words, a particular jacket is like a piece of art.
“If it’s not part of your DNA, there’s no point in jumping on the same bus,” he added. “There’s no point in jumping on the same bus.” This is true for both men and women. After taking inspiration from menswear for the better part of a century, womenswear is finally starting to give back. The designer made the observation that “it demonstrates that the codes of humanity are changing.”
Even though Josephine Baker, Brigitte Bardot, and Beyoncé are among the inspirations that Rousteing draws inspiration from, the American Dream is also a consistent theme. One of the most star-studded and over-the-top collections that the designer has created so far, this collection is sure to please his maximalist fans. Consider, for instance, a garment that has one of Monsieur Balmain’s characteristic constructions: a nip-waisted jacket that has been reimagined with a sprinkling of stars and stripes rendered as crystal fringe. Jackets, bodycon dresses, and pants can be seen with extravagant embroidery that has ornamental trim that has been appropriated from the cowboy vernacular. A jacket made of beige and black patent leather allowed the designer to demonstrate his adeptness in garment construction in a manner that was relatively understated. A few workhorse items, like a trench coat made of precisely cut python-print leather, are sure to be snapped up quickly. It is probably not a coincidence either that Texas plays a significant role in the retail strategy of the brand: outposts will be launching in both Dallas and Houston in the month of September.
“The new American Dream is that you get to redefine it all the time,” stated the designer. “Being able to be whoever you want to be is, to me, the embodiment of the American dream.”