Balmain is known for its rocker-girl appeal, and at last night's dinner hosted by the label's designer, Olivier Rousteing, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Nicole Richie caught our attention (and then some) wearing the brand's subversive pieces. Rosie channeled the '90s in a black and white look comprised of a printed leather check skirt, long-sleeved leather crop top, and sexy laser-cut boots. Meanwhile, Nicole took a slightly softer approach in an intricate summery knit minidress and soft gray suede pumps. Both look hot in their warm-weather party ensembles, but which one gets your best-dressed vote — Rosie or Nicole?
All the bits fit to print here, in our daily news roundup.
- Dita Von Teese has some wise words to avoid style ridicule: "You can be a juicy, ripe peach, and there's still going to be someone who doesn't like peaches, so you can either submit to someone's criticism of you, or you can get on with the business of being your own amazing self who attracts other like-minded people that appreciate you." [XOJane]
- Olivier Rousteing's fail-safe hangover remedy begins at McDonald's: "I buy nine nuggets, barbeque sauce, a burger, McFlurry, and potatoes. I swear when you get out of the club at 6 or 7, and you wait a bit till McDonald's opens, that’s the best cure." [Fashionista]
- Approximately €3.5 million worth of jewelry (or $4.6 million at current exchange) was stolen from Vionnet owner Goga Ashkenazi while she was on vacation in Uruguay with her boyfriend, Lapo Elkann. [Vogue UK]
- The year 2013 is already off to a good start for Stella McCartney: she's been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services in fashion. [WWD]
- Meanwhile, Bulgari has been accused of evading approximately €70 million (or $92.74 million at current exchange) in taxes. [Telegraph]
- Cacharel will not show during Paris Fashion Week in February. [Elle UK]
- Speaking of collections, former J.Crew designer Marissa Webb will debut her namesake line this month. [SheFinds]
- A New Year's letter from Hearst Corporation President David Carey revealed that Esquire is poised to announce a "bold new partnership — an initiative that will dramatically expand the Esquire franchise." [Hearst Corporation]
- Israel has passed a new law banning models with a BMI of less than 18.5 from appearing in advertisements. [The Wall Street Journal]
- For all the modern gents: The Mr Porter Paperback — The Manual for a Stylish Life: Volume One answers an essential question — what really is the best way to dance at a wedding? [Fashionologie Inbox]
Image Source: Instagram user Fashionologie
Olivier Rousteing's designs for Balmain are usually bold, graphic, and forthrightly sexy, so it wasn't a surprise to see the strong '90s shoulders and bright harlequin patterns he employed for his Spring 2013 collection come down the runway. Rousteing said he was going for a feeling of "Latin sensuality," and some of his jackets were as heavily embellished as matador costumes. The flesh-baring midriff tops that have been spotted on other Paris runways this week were spotted here, too, most often paired with leather and denim trousers with soft pleats.
For Spring 2013, Balmain went Working Girl — designer Olivier Rousteing, though only 27, was clearly inspired by decades past, and offered up a runway show that could have easily doubled as a George Michael music video. The '80s references were hard to ignore — skinny trousers, crop tops, and exaggerated shoulders were central components of the collection — but so was the painstaking attention to detail displayed on Rousteing's embellished and woven wicker pieces. Jackets, pullovers, and minidresses were done in intricate baroque wicker-weaving and topped with jewels, and the designer also incorporated eye-catching harlequin prints and vertical stripes on low-cut jumpsuits, high-waisted peg-leg trousers, and oversize smoking jackets — lending a nice complement to the overall highly structured aesthetic.
- Trends: Leather, crop tops, high-waisted trousers, wicker, embellishments.
- Colors: Black, white, yellow, tan, sky blue.
- Key Piece: The sheer striped top with leather triangle skirt.
- Accessories: Woven, peep-toe ankle booties, embellished waist belts, oversize silver hoop earrings.
- Who Should Wear It: Risk-taking style setters like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian.
Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing told Style.com that he'll be taking model Joan Smalls as his date. Anthony Vaccarello has confirmed he'll be accompanied by Anja Rubik. Jason Wu will attend with Karlie Kloss, and Haider Ackermann will walk the red carpet with Constance Jablonski.
The site has also confirmed another spate of pairings: Roland Mouret is taking Doutzen Kroes; Rachel Zoe and her husband, Rodger Berman, will attend with Karolina Kurkova; Erdem Moralioglu will dress Arizona Muse; and Thakoon Panichgul is taking actress Christina Ricci.
It has also recently been revealed that Heidi Klum will wear a "very very lacy and very very see-through" one-of-a-kind dress by Escada. Chanel's official attendee will be French actor Gaspard Ulliel, face of the brand's Bleu de Chanel fragrance.
Previously confirmed pairings include Alexander Wang and rapper Azealia Banks, who tweeted that she would perform at the Met Gala last week; Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez with Australian actress Isabel Lucas; and Joseph Altuzarra with Lana Del Rey. Coco Rocha will attend with her husband, James Conran, wearing a vintage dress by Givenchy.
The Met Gala will be live streamed for the first time from 6:30-8:30 p.m. EDT on May 7.
Update: Everyone from Sarah Jessica Parker to Giovanna Battaglia has decided what they're wearing tonight. Below, a list of everything we know so far:
- Kristen Stewart will wear Balenciaga and attend the Gala with Nicola Ghesquiere.
- Gwyneth Paltrow will wear Prada. Linda Evangelista will also wear Prada, and will attend as Miuccia Prada's date.
- Renee Zellweger will wear Emilio Pucci.
- Jessica Stam will wear Dior.
- Cameron Diaz will attend with Stella McCartney.
- Lauren Santo Domingo will wear Oscar de la Renta.
- Kate Upton will attend the gala with Michael Kors, who is also dressing Jessica Alba and Liu Wen.
- Sarah Jessica Parker and Lily Cole wil both wear Valentino.
- Amy Adams will wear Giambattista Valli Couture.
- Scarlett Johansson is wearing custom Dolce & Gabbana, but the house will also dress Bianca Brandolini d'Adda, Andrea Dellal, Giovanna Battaglia, and Marpessa Hennink.
- Brooklyn Decker, Liya Kebede, Rashida Jones, and Tory Burch will all wear gowns of Burch's design.
- Kristen Bell and Dee Hilfiger will both wear Tommy Hilfiger.
- Dree Hemingway will wear Topshop.
- Farida Khelfa will wear vintage Schiaparelli.
- Emma Stone will wear Lanvin.
- Stella Tennant, Poppy Delvigne, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, and Sigrid Agren will wear Chanel.
- Claire Danes will attend the gala with her husband Hugh Dancy and Gilles Mendel. She'll wear J. Mendel, and so will Aerin Lauder and actress Christine Taylor. Taylor will attend with her husband Ben Stiller.
- Burberry will be dressing Cara Delvigne, Jourdan Dunn, Gabriella Wilde, Vanessa Kirby, Douglas Booth, Mario Testino, Casey Affleck, and Roo Panes.
- Prabal Gurung is dressing Greta Gerwig.
Photo: Doutzen Kroes wearing Giambattista Valli to the 2011 Met Gala.
Olivier Rousteing conjured up a Louis the XIV-meets-rocker vibe for Balmain's Fall 2012. It's Balmain's signature cool-girl appeal done up in rich Baroque-era references — brocade and pearl embellishments cover nearly everything, slim pants and maxi skirts feel infinitely more luxe in velvet fabrications, and pretty floral-embroidered details feel almost like oil paintings. When we're not taken with the decadent craftsmanship, we're looking to slick silhouettes that counter the 17th-century feel with the rocker-inspired edge. But there's less leather here than you think — only a few slim leather pants and body-con leather tops; the rest is done up in velvet, and even moto-style quilted vests are finished in the same plush fabrications. The real star of this show is ornate embellishment married with Balmain's sharp silhouettes. This is where Rousteing crafts his cool — a kind of nod to the classics, an homage to elegance with a definitively modern point of view.
- Trends: Brocade, pearl embellishment, slits, velvet, leather, metallic, military-style jackets, baroque references.
- Colors: Black, peach, white, blue, mint green, silver, gold.
- Key Piece: If we had to pick favorites it would be the moto-style vests and embellished minis.
- Accessories: Lace-up ankle boots.
- Who Would Wear It: Kristen Stewart or Emmanuelle Alt could carry these looks effortlessly.
>> 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.
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."
The new line covers everything from eveningwear to daywear, tailoring to jeans, and will be created by a separate design team from Olivier Rousteing, who is set to concentrate exclusively on the higher-end Balmain label. As Balmain chairman and CEO Alain Hivelin explains the dichotomy, Rousteing will make the “quintessentially Parisian” main collection “even more sophisticated and couture-like — without, of course, renouncing that ‘rock’ aesthetic that has been so important for us these the last few years." Whereas: "The Pierre Balmain collection translates the codes of Balmain in a more casual and relaxed manner ... We see Pierre Balmain as a new and distinct brand that is inspired by the successes and history of a great house, but offers a look and product that respond to the needs and desires of today’s marketplace.”
Prices for Pierre Balmain — in light of the Balmain mainline's infamously sky-high prices — are to range from 120 euros ($172) for T-shirts and 250 euros ($363) for jeans up to 900 euros ($1,291) for eveningwear.
>> Balmain has confirmed that it has a diffusion line in the works — to be called Pierre Balmain, after the house's founder. The line, which will encompass both women's and men's wear, will be created by a separate design studio, overseen by the house and its new designer, Olivier Rousteing.
An official launch presentation for Pierre Belmain is expected in September — possibly in New York, which would likely coincide with Fashion Week. A spokesperson confirmed that the new range "will be younger"; it is also anticipated that it will have more accessible price points.