Balmain is embracing its heritage for the upcoming season. The brand’s creative director, Olivier Rousteing, has been exploring Balmain’s rich history and has brought back some of its iconic designs to the forefront. For the Fall/Winter 2023 collection, Rousteing went back to the roots of the brand and focused on the New French Style, established in 1945, and the signature pinch-waisted “Jolie Madame” silhouette from 1953.
Rousteing added his own unique touch to the mid-century silhouettes, incorporating modern elements such as sculptural corsets, velvet capris, and full-circle skirts. The show was a more intimate affair, with a maximum of 250 guests and a focus on the quality of the clothes, as opposed to previous spectacles with musical performances and exaggerated designs.
To further enhance the period look of the collection, Olivier Rousteing collaborated with Stephen Jones to create hats inspired by the founder’s famous couture toppers. Up close, the intricate details of the clothes were highlighted, from the ruffled crystal minidress to the haphazardly scattered polka dots on silk separates. The designer also added humorous accessories, such as a PB-logo toolbox and a camera-shaped bag, to bring moments of levity and humor to the collection.
Rousteing’s time at Jean Paul Gaultier also left a lasting impact on his designs, as seen in the sculpted bustiers with padded hips and conical breasts. The show closed with a nearly sheer, minimalist cape composed of faceted crystals, showcasing the brand’s exceptional couture craftsmanship.