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Balmain Homme FW24: the renewed masculine vision of Olivier Rousteing

Balmain Homme returns to the runway after four years with a Fall 24 collection full of statement pieces.

Balmain Homme FW24: the renewed masculine vision of Olivier Rousteing

Saturday, January 20th, 2024. A key date in Olivier Rousteing’s personal calendar that will mark a before and after in the creative director’s career at Balmain. Olivier is known as the wunderkind of fashion for a reason. Whether for his contributions to the industry, or for having a clearly marked style and away from any trend, which leaves no one indifferent. Even more, always on everyone’s lips for raising his maximalism to stratospheric levels. This time, the designer has returned to the Paris Men’s Fashion Week calendar with a proposal that is “screaming luxury” (in Rousteing’s own words). A very special appointment that counted with the presence of Naomi Campbell herself as the final touch of the PFW.

Before the show began, the brand’s Instagram kept posting small conceptual teasers of what was going to be the new ‘Bal-man’. Already on the catwalk, the masculine rebirth was marked by touches of Pierre’s feminine archive, by a very marked tailoring style and by the unique dandy concept of the legendary African ‘sapeurs’. Likewise, lips in the shape of an ironic wink were the par excellence element of some of the garments to throw a kiss in the air to all those critical looks of Olivier’s physique. «Many people laugh at my lips», said the creative director prior to the fashion show.

The first stop, a maxi coat with crystal details that gave rise to a face generated by artificial intelligence, set the pace for everything that came after. Tight-fitting pants in vaporous fabrics that conceived a certain life on their own when walking; ensembles formed by blazers, shirts and ties that created the perfect canvas to project images and concepts; straight shoulders and marked as armor; or leather pieces that created a much more informal imaginary. In this universe, polka dots and surrealist touches also had a place, as well as jewelry and accessories to embellish the looks. Likewise, Rousteing’s collaborative spirit was present through the graphic prints of African artists such as Prince Gyasi or Ibby Njoya.

On the other hand, the chromatic range was separated into two very noticeable blocks. The darker tones typical of a FW collection (and which highlighted the designer’s fetish colors: black and gold), were combined with a fresher and more vibrant pastel palette that was out of the ordinary. Finally, the icing on the cake was provided by model Naomi Campbell. The 90’s icon closed the proposal sheathed in a beige coat, embellished with a belt like intertwined hands holding a bouquet of golden flowers. Well, the perfect reflection of Olivier Rousteing’s obsession with escaping from silent luxury. An appearance that perhaps also tried to reflect that the boundaries between masculine and feminine are disappearing in the fashion industry (or if not tell Sabato De Sarno).

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