Now you see them, now you don’t. Cara Delevingne and the rest of the Balmain army marched purposefully down the runway as always, but on first impression, it appeared that they were marching on tiptoe with no heels to be seen at all.
It was a clever optical illusion, of course: The heels were made of angular shards of Plexiglas. “They’re like a broken pyramid,” creative director Olivier Rousteing told FN today backstage during his spring ’19 Paris Fashion Week show. “When you see them walking on the pavement, you don’t see how they can walk. It’s like you see and you don’t see.”
The particular pyramid he was referencing was I.M. Pei’s famous Pyramide du Louvre, also evoked in cuissard boots fashioned in a mosaic of mirrored shards.
This idea of the street, or the streets of Paris in particular, was present throughout. The designer riffed on the mystical geometry of the obelisks, pyramids and columns found on the boulevards and public spaces of the City of Light.
Cocoon-shaped dresses featured neoclassical fluted details, while power-shouldered minis were done in mother of pearl mosaic and sculpted corsets in hammered metal — one of which came teamed with a skirt in a deconstructed bleached denim.
This was some elevated streetwear. “Don’t forget,” he said, “that we are in Paris, and Paris is about the flamboyance of Le Tour Eiffel and the Palais du Versailles.”
Elevation to the max.
Click through the gallery to see the full Balmain spring ’19 collection.
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