Any Balmain experience is a celebrity packed affair. However, with the international contingent of the Balmain army grounded, a little creative thinking was called for.
Tonight, during Paris Fashion Week, the Balmain spring ’21 show played out physically, outside in the city’s Jardin des Plantes. While it may have been missing the physical celebrity front row, a stellar virtual line-up more than made up for it.
In the ultimate act of social distancing, Jennifer Lopez, Bryan Boy, Cara Delevingne, Alexa Chung, Usher, Cindy Crawford, Alexandra Ambrosia, Kris Jenner, Anna Wintour and others too numerous to recount, all attended virtually via a bank of screens replacing the customary front row seating.
The American Vogue editor remained impassive as ever but others including Delevingne got right into the spirit of things, gamely cheering along and recording the action on their mobile phones.
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As for the collection itself, it was a glorious and unashamedly ’80s parade of the sharpest shoulders, stiletto sock boots to match and plenty of Balmain sparkle which came courtesy of almost two million Swarovski crystals.
In a tongue in cheek nod to confinement habits such as waist up dressing that became de rigueur for Zoom calls, many looks featured aforementioned razor sharp tailoring teamed with biker shorts.
“Just like the runway and seating, many of this evening’s designs reflect our new reality,” wrote Balmain artistic director Olivier Rousteing in his show notes. “After spending so many months working from home, seated at our kitchen tables during conference calls, it’s not so surprising to see a silhouette that includes a tailored DB jacket paired with biker shorts, is it?”
The newly revamped Pierre Balmain PB labyrinth monogram pattern also featured in repeat throughout — both on garments and accessories alike. Not least on Balmain shoppers and $3,900 re-editions of the house’s 1945 clutch bag.
The latter was available for direct purchase in some territories via Instagram’s new live shopping functionality. Unfortunately these did not appear to include Europe where users had to go the more traditional route via the brand’s link in bio.
However, once this is properly up and running it will be an interesting and lucrative addition to the platform’s e-commerce capabilities.
Said print also featured on the knitted Balmain face masks gifted to show goers along with black Balmain logo emblazoned macs in case it rained. It didn’t. But still. Fn can predict the swift appearance of both on resale sites in the not too distant future.