Filtered through Olivier Rousteing’s monochrome state of mind, Balmain’s Autumn Winter ’19 collection is set to be a sumptuous head-turner.
In retrospect, although no one could have anticipated it at the time, 2011 would be the year to transform fashion forever. In Paris particularly, operations were following a startling shift; a then 25-year-old Olivier Rousteing had courageously taken the reins at the historic house of Balmain – a move that would go on to redefine fashion’s agenda for the foreseeable future.
In Rousteing’s celebrated eight years at Balmain’s helm, the house has firmly broken into the 21st century. The label’s lauded predecessors such as, Mr. Pierre Balmain himself, and Oscar de la Renta, had already cemented the house’s path to elegance, yet none had quite stirred up the contemporary appeal as that of Rousteing. In the seasons just before Olivier’s succession, Christophe Decarnin tried his talented hand at triggering modernity within the house, falling just short to that of Rousteing’s superlative standards.
Now, for Autumn Winter ‘19, the house calls on a plethora of diverse inspiration – sourced from far and wide. As-ever designs in the collection fuse contrasting themes of grunge and glamour; an aesthetic the label has become synonymous with under the guise of Olivier. Additionally, subtle Eastern influences gently unload into the capsule, no doubt much to the delight of the brand’s vast and loyal following on that side of the globe. And rounding off the lineup is Balmain’s first official foray into footwear; a collection sparking huge significance for Olivier Rousteing and a monumental touchpoint for the brand as a whole.
Kicking things off with a slew of luxe, monochrome pieces, the Autumn Winter ’19 capsule effortlessly blends the realms of luxury and streetwear. For example, the pairing of the brand’s velvet teddy jacket and branded hoodie here creates the perfect balance of sumptuous style and casual layering. Added accents, in the form of a baseball cap and the brand’s B-Troop Strap sneakers, signify the outfit’s obvious urban status, while the logo-laden aesthetic further unravels through simple base layers, including a short-sleeve signature tee and all-black trousers.
By insisting on the injection of sportswear cues throughout Balmain looks to not only hit a home run this season but also shoot some hoops on the hardwood and the proof is in this next outfit. With a sweatshirt that wouldn’t look out of place on the baseball field and the aptly dubbed ‘B-Ball’ sneakers on foot, the look is wholly sport-luxe.
The sweatshirt, in particular, unites Western and Eastern influences; not only does it shine the spotlight on one of America’s beloved batting games, thanks to its striped base and colour-blocking formula, but it also introduces Japanese design language into the mix – tooling Rousteing has displayed an affinity for in the past. Together with the distinctive cultural elements, an all-black Balmain belt bag gives the look a functional, finishing touch for urban dimensions.
The lack of ostentatious hues throughout the collection is sure to be welcomed by all those wishing to curate a versatile wardrobe, with plenty of pieces up for grabs that can be effortlessly mixed and match. The adaptability of the following look is demonstrated through its monochrome palette. Made up of a woollen blend sweater and taped joggers, the ensemble deliberately leaves bold colours behind for a sleek, street-led look which is without question cut for comfort.
Altogether, the Balmain AW19 collection makes a superb case for versatility. The high-key to low-key contrast of the garments ensures you’ll stand out in the streets while giving you the opportunity to experiment with mixing and matching a number of pieces from the lineup. Hats off to design favourite, Olivier Rousteing, yet again…