Olivier Rousteing, creative director of Balmain, certainly knows his audience: Namely, the 1.3 million international fans who follow his exclusive (and expensive) adventures on Instagram, the editors who want to sex up a fashion shoot or a magazine cover with his work and the seemingly endless list of pretty young things — models, socialites, DJs, actresses and the like, known as his "Balmain Army" — who frequently wear his body-con, blinged-out designs for the French house.
However, we would be remiss to not include his most famous customers: the Kardashians, especially Kim, who's not only one of Rousteing's dearest friends, but also his muse. The family has undoubtedly helped Balmain to become a pop cultural phenomenon — Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, and Kendall and Kylie Jenner have all appeared in the brand's ad campaigns. And when it came to the spring 2016 collection, it certainly seemed that he had the family in mind, considering almost every look could theoretically have been straight from a Kardashian's closet.
Showing off the body was the name of the game, either by cinching the models' waists with thick, tight belts, or through peek-a-boo crocheted dresses, netted separates, side cutouts and criss-cross tops that displayed plenty of skin. Much of the collection was done in soft, buttery suede in neutral tones — not unlike Mrs. Kardashian West's latest uniform of choice — in structural silhouettes that would be less limited to a night out partying. There was also a fair amount of sparkle, with jewels adorning everything from long-sleeved minidresses to open knit skirts. A ruffle motif throughout the collection was a bit awkward and over the top in many instances and we doubt they'd work on many body types outside of Rousting's crew of model-tall friends.
The casting, as usual, was a huge power play, demonstrating Rousteing's pull and popularity among the industry's top girls. Big-name vets like Doutzen Kroes, Alessandra Ambrosio, Isabeli Fontana, Lily Aldridge, Joan Smalls and Lily Donaldson appeared alongside the newest crop of "It" models, including Taylor Hill, Bella Hadid, Stella Maxwell and Lineisy Montero.
Balmain's specific brand of glamour doesn't change much from season to season, but that likely won't stop its dedicated following from paying attention — and from lining up when the brand's collaboration with H&M hits stores in November.