Style Cartel loves holidays & resort wear; here is your taste of BALMAIN RESORT 24 COLLECTIONS; maybe it’s because it reminds us to book holidays early, and the clothing is fun and has the vive for life. Olivier Rousteing, like most, I spent a lot of time during our childhood watching the legendary American Westerns and playing cowboys & Native Americans all summer for fun.
BALMAIN RESORT 24 COLLECTIONS
However, this Balmain collection returned to the liberating and rebellious spirit of America’s West, tapping into the real wild, wild West. It is fascinating because, if you didn’t know, many cowboys were Black. Olivier was inspired by the style, and because he worked on The Harder They Fall—the modern Western produced by Jay-Z and directed by Jeymes Samuel, it was time to show the world.
—I’m now aware that the films of my youth projected images that were far from the reality of the 19th-Century West. Those classics literally whitewashed an incredible history. The contributions of the Mexican Vaqueros to creating a unique culture were largely ignored. And the all-white casts definitely did not reflect the actual composition of America’s cowboys—in fact, historians estimate that perhaps as many as one of every four American cowboys was a Black man since many newly freed slaves headed west after the Civil War, hoping for a better life.
In addition to celebrating the long-ignored diversity of the American West, this Balmain resort collection builds upon the compelling heritage of Pierre Balmain, who melded his passion for American dynamism with this house’s mastery of French craftsmanship. Soon after presenting his premiere collection in 1945, Pierre Balmain set off on the first of his many travels across the United States, dutifully following the instructions of his friend Gertrude Stein, who stressed the need for him to introduce his New French Style to all parts of her homeland.
His autobiography recounts several of those trips to America, including one to Dallas, accompanied by Grace Kelly and Edith Piaf. And, after each expedition, he returned to his Parisian atelier, eager to begin experimenting with the inspirations he had picked up during his travels—fresh concepts for cuts and new materials—which he would find ways of incorporating into his couture designs.
So, as we riffed upon the colours, cuts and adornments of the Wild West, Olivier and his team were determined to continue maintaining a strong focus on the traditions of this house.
We spotted the many ways this collection blended the two distinct cultures. Parisian Baroque embellishments perfectly complement the decorative motifs, stitching and cut-outs associated with the finest frontier tooled leather. The house’s signature black-and-white pairings are set alongside pastels inspired by spectacular arid landscapes. And hypnotizing swaying fringes offer impeccable final adornments for ensembles looking to couture salons and frontier saloons.
I’m happy to see how wonderfully our atelier’s Parisian tailoring and sharp cuts work for this western excursion. Perfectly fit, cropped jackets channel the Jolie Madame silhouette and the strict lines of Monsieur Balmain’s favourite, just-below-the-knee skirt have been transformed into a perfect couture spin on gaucho pants.
In addition, the Resort Collection gives us hats and jewellery that perfectly mirror the finest finishing touches of Pierre Balmain’s post-war presentations. What was the original catalyst behind this collection? New French Style with New World inspirations. Pierre Balmain’s passion for America comes through clearly in his many writings and designs. Olivier Routeing’s own recent trips to the States, visiting Los Angeles to work with Beyonce on our joint Renaissance Couture Collection and travelling to New York at the end of May, not only helped make it clear just how much he loves the United States—but he also used the Pierre Balmain archives, to inspire and push forward the Olivier Rousteing BALMAIN RESORT 24 COLLECTIONS.
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