May 10, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
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THE LANGUAGE OF OPULENCE
Paris: A famous photograph of Diana Vreeland lounging in her luxurious boudoir served as an inspiration behind Olivier Rousteing’s Pre-Fall collection for Balmain. Vreeland once famously said, “The eye has to travel,” and Rousteing took this sentiment to heart, borrowing elements from far-flung cultures and translating them into his own language of opulence. There were obi belts and motifs borrowed from Asian screens (which were a focal point in Vreeland’s home), as well as sarouel pants taken from the Middle East. But the materials were pure French couture with a 70s flair; lustrous satins, sparkling Lurex, and jacquards were key fabrics. The sharp or extended shoulder that appeared in his S/S 13 collection returned here, often creating a directional inverted-triangle silhouette. Rousteing has perfected this mix of seduction, toughness, and luxury, and this season’s offering was one of his most confident yet. –Joanna Manganaro
Silhouette: Inverted triangle / Broad-shouldered / Hourglass / Rounded hips
Color: Cream / Black / Gold / Raisin / Light blue / Chinese red / Fuchsia
Key Items: Broad-shouldered jackets / Sarouel pants / Angora jacket / Embellished miniskirt
Materials: Lustrous satins / Sparkling Lurex / Rich jacquards / Angora / Matte suitings / Buttery leather / Silk charmeuse
Print + Pattern: Asian screen motifs / Narrow stripes / Dark nature scenes with birds
Details + Trim: Extended or sharp shoulders / Draping and gathering / Intricate beading / Embroidery / Shawl collars
Accessories + Footwear: Metal fringe earrings / Wide belts with gold hardware / Leather gloves with gold details / Suede mid-calf boots / Suede over-the-knee boots /
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