Monday, June 27, 2016

BEAUTY: Clothing--Balmain

If you are a regular reader of "Oh, By The Way," and have seen my commentaries on the fashion shows this season or seasons past, you might glean that I am not a fan of fashion that is luxe for the sake of luxe. But let me clarify: Would I turn down a butter-soft Giorgio Armani jacket? Hell to the no. Would I sniff at an exquisitely tailored Canali suit? Of course not. But my true interests lie in the artistic statement of clothing--the more unusual and eclectic, the better.

But Olivier Rousteing, Balmain's young creative director, somehow manages to produce luxe clothing within an artistic statement. Since he has taken over the venerable couture house in 2011, he has established a new, rich sense and exotic silhouette. And it is this silhouette that makes his pieces stand out and elevate the luxe brand to something beyond. Take a look at his laced and embellished references for his SS '17 collection shown at Paris Fashion Week: loose fitting Asian tops with sashes, draped Greek togas, and encrusted Roman centurion armor. For the latter, Rousteing studded garments with cabochons of malachite and turquoise (bottom row, left). Even when he is using pale blue denim, it still manages to look sumptuous. And please do take a moment to ogle the gorgeous ankle-covering Roman sandals (I covet the pair on the middle model, top row)...along with some lovely jewelry pieces like long gold fringe swinging from a bar of metal or stone, and chunky bracelets of chrysocolla.

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