PFW: BALMAIN F/W 2014

Questions regarding the relationship between celebrities and fashion labels cropped up again this afternoon when, allegedly, yet another music diva was holding up yet another runway show. However, there are some primary differences between this and the Moschino debacle last week.
1. When said diva didn’t show within reasonable time, the show started without her.
2. At least the diva was connected to the label, being prominently features in the brand’s spring/summer ad campaign.
3. No one would confirm whether said diva was actually committed to being at the show in the first place.
4. The clothes were worth the wait.

Still, the chatter during the delay was enough to cause some buyers to begin talking about walking out, something the labels absolutely do not need to put at risk. While celebrity endorsements are always good PR, buyers are the ones who actually put clothes in stores. Without buyers, brands have little hope of surviving, even the big ones. Fashion weeks are busy times for buyers who are constantly rushing from one show to the next. Having their schedule hijacked by some fussy celebrity is something no buyer should need to worry about.

All that being said, the clothes Olivier Rousteing sent down the runway were nothing short of incredible. Sharp, military inspired looks made for strong women who are assertive, confident, and maybe a little on the fussy side give this collection a lot of reasons to do well at stores this fall, regardless of who is or is not endorsing the label.

Starting off with leather looks in a dark mustard, olive drab, and black, the silhouettes look a bit as though they’re operating a revolution in Venezuela or some place similar. Shoulders are broad and well padded.Waists are cinched tight, often with very broad belts. Pants are sufficiently full with plenty of pockets. Skirts are generally short, pleated, and have either boots or leggings beneath. All through the collection, Olivier doesn’t let one lose the sense they are on an adventure.

Tops seem to be where a lot of the action is in these ensembles. Some are done entirely in rope. Others mix leopard skin prints with strips of gold chain. Still others have a bar and bead look that at first appears to be very military until one realizes they they are actually sheer underneath. One look is even covered in long dyed goats hair.

Look closely, and one sees an incredible amount of detail, even down to the broad belts and shoes which are exquisite examples for craftsmanship. These are power suits from top to bottom and the women who wear them are strong enough to take over the wold. Might as well get in line to obey them now because one may not have a choice later.

With or without celebrity, this is a Balmain collection that stands on its own merits and does quite well. Look for it this fall and if you think you’re strong enough, go ahead and put it all on.

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