Balmain Makes the '80s Modern for Spring

Open any runway show with Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax (Don’t Do It)," and it’s likely that the clothes are going to drip with '80s excess. Which isn’t surprising for Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing, who loves a shoulder pad more than anyone in high fashion.
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Open any runway show with Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax (Don’t Do It)," and it’s likely that the clothes are going to drip with '80s excess. Which isn’t surprising for Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing, who loves a shoulder pad more than anyone in high fashion.
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Open any runway show with Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax (Don’t Do It)," and it’s likely that the clothes are going to drip with '80s excess. Which isn’t surprising for Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing, who loves a shoulder pad more than anyone in high fashion.

But this collection wasn’t just an '80s throwback--Rousteing took those ideas and gave them some modernity. The current crop of Supes—Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Georgia May Jagger--walked out in oversized houndstooth bombers and quilted denim jackets, paired with sexy pencil skirts that gave them a cool, anything-but-vintage look. One number, a black-and-gold-pinstripe overall dress that was worn with a white men’s button-up, would have felt as right on Christy Turlington in 1989 as it would on Rihanna in 2013.

The collection owed a lot to 1980s Chanel. It’s interesting that Lagerfeld-loving stylist Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele--who famously paired a Christian Lacroix jacket with jeans on Anna Wintour’s first Vogue cover in 1988, and Blake Lively in H&M for Eva Chen’s first issue of Lucky this September--is having a moment, because these clothes looked made for her and her shoots.

Photos: IMAXtree