Hot Dystopia. Balmain SS23

I might not be a Balmain kind of person, but I can definitely appreciate it, when Olivier Rousteing does something intriguing with it. A lot happened on the spring-summer 2023 runway, from a haute couture capsule offering to Cher closing the event. Over-saturated with prints featuring (very naked) Renaissance painting and a heavy dose of leather weaving and jersey draping, it was clear that Rousteing was still high on his Jean Paul Gaultier collaboration we’ve seen this summer (by the way, I can’t wait to see what Haider Ackermann will cook up for the brand in a couple of months!). But what truly sparked my attention in this Balmain outing was the melancholic, even dystopian mood behind it – and also it’s sustainability aspect. “We all saw climate change this summer. We all saw fires around the world. And coming back with a show in September, thinking about whether our pants are going to be high-waisted or low-waisted – it seems a bit futile to me.” Dressed like a samurai messiah, Rousteing told the press backstage that while he could not claim this collection was 100 per cent sustainable, he’d used fabrics made of paper, of banana, and of wicker (in the couture) to be as much so as possible. He added: “I have friends who tell me they don’t want to have kids, because what will our world be tomorrow? And at the end of the day it’s not about taste. It’s not about aesthetics.” When faced with the hardest proposition – that all fashion is essentially unsustainable for its inherent ephemerality – he convincingly riposted that his ongoing project is to radicalize his supply chain for the better. So props to him.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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NET-A-PORTER Limited

Big Pants Tale

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Lena in her N21 flares

Although big pants / flares aren’t always pleasantly seen in the society, let’s be cool about them – if styled well, these pants can easily become an essential of your wardrobe. Noting that the floor-sweeping length is having its appearance everywhere, from Celine Resort 2016 look-book to Rosie Assoulin’s AW16 collection, flares (which not necessarily must be denim!) seem to be an old-school alternative of culottes, which unfortunately don’t suit everybody due to their very, very difficult silhouette. Worn with a lace, slip top or a DsQuared bomber with a badass, J-Lo fur hoodie, the big pants work with almost everything. And, what’s the most attracting about this unsung must-have, is that you can truly have fun with them. Make them look slouchy (Y/Project autumn-winter 2016), chic (N21 cappuccino shaded version) or on fleek (Balmain AW07) – and remember to free your inner Jane Birkin.

So, are the big pants having a 2016 tale?

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Y/Project AW16

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Eckhaus Latta SS16

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Céline AW16

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Carla Bruni in her apartment

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Rosie Assoulin AW16

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Céline Resort 2016

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Balmain by Chistopher Decarnin SS07

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N21 SS16 on Lena

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Maison Margiela in the 90’s

Grace Jones. Balmain AW15

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Olivier Rousteing’s heavy tribute to Grace Jones was visible at every point of his new collection for Balmain – the bold shapes of accessories, the vibrant patterns, the non-chalant cuts, capes and over-sized pantalons – I mean, EVERYTHING. Glamour, chic, sex – with a bit of cheesy accents – felt on the right place, like always at Balmain. A continuation on the eighties themes that we’ve seen developing successively for AW15 naturally was present. It was a collection that showed Rousteing doing what he does best: power dressing some of the world’s most recognisable faces and icons.

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