Balmain’s singularly rich couture history is celebrated in each of Olivier Rousteing’s collections. The house’s archives, filled with impressive designs, inspire, while its atelier, with its mastery of intricate couture techniques, continues to awe. As Rousteing notes, with this richness comes a daunting responsibility: he can never forget that he forms part of one long history; he must always meet the incredibly high standards established by those who came before him.
The house’s updated blason—coat of arms—is repeated throughout Olivier Rousteing’s multiple collections: it is pressed into Balmain’s medallions and blown up for graphic treatments on apparel and accessories. The blason mixes elements that reference the house’s Parisian heritage, as well classic symbols reflecting the strength and power of today’s Balmain army.
Gold ornament are an element important to Olivier Rousteing’s collections, as well: gold buttons and medallions are key components of today’s runways’ most important looks, often building on army and classic French inspirations.
Over the years, the house has relied on tassels as final touches for couture, women’s and men’s designs. This house’s accessories offerings cleverly play on this history—each year offering new versions of a unique finishing flourish : La Clef Balmain, a gold-topped, leather-tasseled charm. It is inspired as much by Balmain’s runways as by the heft and beauty of the traditional room keys once used at Paris’ finest luxury hotels
Even as Olivier Rousteing oversees multiple collections each year, each of the many offerings remains part of one coherent whole. All designs are clearly linked, with each channeling the same instantly identifiable and common spirit, silhouette and outlook. This singular style is due to more than just craftsmanship and tailoring. There’s a unique feeling of confidence instilled into each collection, relying on the undeniable power that comes from wearing something as beautifully crafted as a Balmain.
The closer one examines Olivier Rousteing’s creations, the more the level of expert handwork impresses. The savoir-faire of Balmain’s craftsmen is evident in a multitude of small details: expertly quilted leathers, detailed embroideries, intricate weavings, masterful pleating, impressive corsetry and an abundance of delicate stitching. As a historic Parisian house with a long history of couture mastery, Balmain highlights its impressive expertise—while, at the same time, always remaining modern, always reflecting the way that today’s women and men wish to dress.