>> For his second season at Balmain, Olivier Rousteing combined the house's trademark androgynous edge with intricate Fabergé egg-inspired embellishment. The result was a strong collection that managed to look tough and lovely all at once. Pearl embellishment, floral embroidery, gold thread work, and intricate quilting gave an ornate flourish to Balmain classics like boxy tuxedo jackets, moto vests, cuffed leather pants, fitted military dresses, and slim-lined trousers.
Jennifer Lopez strolled arm in arm in NYC looking super stylish in leather Balmain pants and an off-the-shoulder, burnout tee with a turquoise peek-a-boo bra. J Lo accessorized her rock-chic ensemble with two pyramid stud Hermes cuffs and embellished '50s sunglasses. We picked a fur vest, burgundy crossbody bag, and matching nail polish to complete Jen's lunching look. Shop like items now.
>> Lanvin, Dior, Balmain, Carven, Rick Owens — the past few days of Paris Fashion Week have been busy ones, so it's no wonder that the backstage mood has been just as high-energy as ever. The ladies of Lanvin played up the mystique with giant fans and new-wave shades; the girls at Dior looked demure in ladylike lipstick and super-sweet poses; and there was plenty of playful frolicking — not to mention an eye-catching array of candy-hued shoes — at Carven. Balmain offered up a dose of rock n' roll glamour with gilded shorts and heavy hardware, while the ethereal vibe at Rick Owens made for lots of ghoulish creeping. All the behind-the-scenes action and more, here in the slideshow.
Photos by Greg Kessler
Rousteing said he wished to turn the label away from holey T-shirts and tattered jeans to give more focus to the Balmain's couture roots, and his efforts were rewarded. The Wall Street Journal's Christina Binkley noted: "From the look of things, Mr. Rousteing has a bright future." "I think he did great," said Bergdorf Goodman fashion director Linda Fargo as she exited the show. And Suzy Menkes called the collection "a hit": "Mr. Rousteing proved his weight in the gold he scattered so liberally on the collection."
From the looks of things, Olivier Rousteing knows exactly what Balmain is made of. For Spring 2012, the designer showed us what might happen if a Spanish dancer went west — a mix of long, duster-like leather skirts and denim button-ups paired with the label's signature embellishments on body-conscious minidresses, skirts, and slim pants and jackets. Gold embroidery and fringe on white pants, skirts, and boleros all hinted at beautifully ornate Spanish detailing; while leather pants, denim shirts and skirts, and laser-cut leather brought us back to the Old West. At the core, it's still what Balmain does best — standout, rich metallics, and beading on the slickest and sexiest silhouettes.
- Trends: leather, boleros, embellishment, fringe, embroidery, and high-waisted pants.
- Colors: black, white, gold, some florals and denim.
- Key Piece: the black embellished suit; the gold and white embellished mini and denim shirt.
- Accessories: embellished suede and cutout leather booties, gold cuffs, chain bracelets and belts, oversize gold belt buckles.
- Who Would Wear It: Cool-girl types with an eye for glam-rocker pieces; Zoe Saldana and Anna Dello Russo would rock the embellished minidresses.
>> In anticipation of the Pierre Balmain diffusion line's launch on Sunday, Balmain has released the first of three videos featuring Abbey Lee Kershaw, her boyfriend, Matthew Hutchinson, and their band, Our Mountain. Directed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, the video follows the band around New York City — set to their single, "Devils Banquet" — and gives peeks at the cropped jeans and zebra print tops that populate Pierre Balmain's debut Spring 2012 collection. The second video, focusing on Hutchinson in the line's menswear, will be released on Friday on the Pierre Balmain Tumblr, followed by the full-length version of the video next Monday, Oct. 3.
Zoe Saldana chose a richly detailed Balmain Resort 2012 minidress complete with a white train to a screening of Colombiana in Miami yesterday. While the collection was designed with a Vegas-era Elvis in mind (and, yes, we can see references to that infamous white bedazzled suit), the ornate detail and mix of gold, white, and silver reminded us of something more classically opulent; indeed, Zoe reminded us of some Ottoman Empire princess. The effect is easily channeled for every day with a few good accessories. Here are our styling tips for channeling Zoe's opulent look without investing in a Balmain minidress:
- Match your prints for a seamlessly chic look this Fall — and don't forget to top off the look with a pair of statement heels.
- On the flip side, mixing prints evokes a more bohemian-cool aesthetic, a la Margherita, making it an ideal daywear option.
- Temper printed separates with a white tee for gorgeous laid-back look.
Anne Hathaway mixed trends like a pro while leaving The Daily Show With Jon Stewart in NYC. Anne donned a menswear-inspired ensemble — white blazer with black lapels, flared trousers, and an Elvis tee — and added an element with vintage white sunglasses. We finished off Ms. Hathaway's polished look with patent platform loafers. Shop now to re-create her adorable talk show style.