The Balmain Fall/Winter 2023 collection was a stunning display of Olivier Rousteing’s talent as a designer. He was inspired by the roots of the fashion house, drawing upon the iconic 1953 Jolie Madame look created by Balmain’s founder, Pierre Balmain. This time, however, the designer extended the same aesthetic to the menswear collection, presenting it in a festive setting at the historic Bar Anglais at the Regina Hotel.
Rousteing’s collection was a departure from the current streetwear trend and a return to elegance and timelessness. He emphasized the significance of quality and craftsmanship in the new generation of fashion, recognizing that people are seeking well-made, unique pieces that stand the test of time. While the collection still included hoodies, sweatpants, and sneakers, Rousteing acknowledged that these items do not evoke the same level of excitement and aspiration as high-end, expertly crafted pieces.
The menswear collection was a feast for the eyes, featuring flamboyant tailoring with slanted rows of buttons, intricate crystal embroideries, luxurious satin sashes, and Lurex-etched pinstripes. The pants in the collection were a mixture of Rousteing’s signature radical flares and a more approachable, tapered and cropped option. The collection also included a reprise of the founder’s original slim-fit, sharply cut suits, inspired by the sophistication of Saint Germain jazz artists.