“Making something imperfect perfect”, this was the new challenge that Olivier Rousteing has set for himself in his latest Pre-Fall 2022 collection for Balmain.
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Never falling short of delivering sartorial statements, the French 36-year-old designer has pulled out all the stops to reinvent Balmain’s menswear offering this season, drawing on what he calls “the baroque splendor of Marie-Antoinette with the grunge style associated with Kurt Cobain”.
“As I wrap up my first decade at Balmain, there’s been a lot of talk about turning pages, closing chapters and opening new books”, said Olivier Rousteing. So, he remembered his mentor and friend Ed Filipowski, co-founder of PR agency KCD who pushed him to explore “new possibilities, constantly repeating that he believed that I had the potential to drive needed changes for fashion’s next act”. This inspirational encouragement to push drove Balmain Pre-Fall 2022, which presents a new era for the house as it steps into its grunge phase.
The “Kurt Cobain-meets-Marie-Antoinette” theme was expressed with many striped knits, velour hoodies, chunky boots, oversized outerwear and intricately washed denim – all punctuated with references baroque. Rousteing also paid homage to Cobain’s messy drawings and ballpoint pen scrawling with an array of graffiti prints with provocative phrases and questions like “Fashion is dead” and “Do you still buy magazines?”.
Olivier Rousteing accompanied these looks with motorcycle boots, racing gloves and motocross helmets created in collaboration with Fox Racing.
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