Last season’s menswear collection for Balmain, created by Rousteing we entitled “The Lion’s Den’….The colours were safari driven, tonal, latte almost alchemist-esque. This season, Rousteing has again worked a safari theme. Yet this collection arrives in tones of olive green, khaki, and camel, and a more-than-fair amount of exotic animal prints from leopard to zebra. That in itself balanced the realistic with the extravagant. Leather jackets and drop-crotch jodhpur trousers in olive drab have staple potential; printed leopard Perfecto jackets in ponyskin and slip-on sneakers and evening shoes to match were anti-camouflage.
WE’RE LOVING IT!
And the inspiration. Back in the mid-century, there was a famous photographer called Beard who travelled to Africa to shoot exotic portraits of animals, tribal and primal. Then would return to Studio54 and rock on like THE glamorous do. Half your luck ‘ey. So in creating this season’s menswear collection the vibe came from studying photographic work from Beard’s archives.
As we’ve seen the trends change in menswear, and the slow fade out of denim, Print is becoming the ‘new’; a universe without denim front and center is new. The whole gamut of the collection was retrofitted to the theme, from the highest end (paillette-encrusted jackets in woven cord in an attempt to suggest traditional African weaving techniques) to T-shirts. Rousteing insisted that it merely represented his new direction—he’s remaking Balmain: “It’s being more myself; my music, my style, my generation,” he said. His customers, especially his men’s customers, who are more loyal and less fashion fickle than his women’s, should support him.
The arguments in his favor include the celebrities he’s successfully courted to the brand (including Rihanna, star of his new campaign) and the opening of the new Balmain boutique in New York’s Soho, planned to open in summer 2014. All very exciting Gents.