PARIS–In his second season at Balmain, designer Olivier Rousteing, who succeeded Christophe Decarnin last year, sent out a super ornate over-the-top opulent collection for fall inspired, he told WWD, by Elizabeth Taylor and Fabergé eggs. Specifically, one particular Fabergé egg that Richard Burton gave Elizabeth Taylor (Rousteing saw it in New York when he visited Christie’s auction of Taylor’s jewelry and clothes).
Balmain shows in a very Baroque, gold-leafed, chandelier-laden ballroom at the Intercontinental hotel–you might worry the the setting would outdo the clothes. But not so, with Rousteing’s Faberge egg-inspired looks. Strong-shouldered jackets and mini dresses (Balmain signatures) were covered in intricate patterns of pearls, golds and florals. These pieces look as precious as Faberge eggs, like they’ll warrant the undoubtedly exorbitant price tag that will be attached to them. Looks worked best when one such ornate pearl-covered piece was paired with something simpler–low-slung velvet pants. Or on Karlie Kloss, a simple white oversized sweater over bejeweled skinny pants. Gone are the slashed tees and jeans of Decarnin’s Balmain. In their place, 25-year-old Rousteing, focused on a boxier silhouette–still slouchy, but structured and cleaner on oversized variations of leather moto jackets. And still cool, too.