PARIS--You could almost feel the anticipatory buzz before Olivier Rousteing presented his first collection as creative director of Balmain yesterday. The young designer was an assistant at the label before he was named as Cristophe Decarnin's replacement last April. Decarnin polarized critics with his crazy expensive slashed tees, strong-shouldered cropped jackets and skinny jeans, but he also created a frenzy--"Balmania"--for the line (thanks also in part to Emmanuelle Alt's styling). Could Rousteing fill his shoes?
His spring collection proves that he can. Balmain poster girls and front-rowers Emmanuelle Alt and Lou Doillon should find plenty of the heavy embroidered beaded cropped jackets and mini-skirted dresses to their liking. Of course there were some differences between Decarnin's Balmain and Rousteing's take on the line. Gone were the grungy slashed t-shirts and in their place, denim button downs, maxi skirts, fringed sleeves and big buckled belts. It all looked very Vegas/country western Barbie circa the late 80s, minus the big hair. Should what happen in Vegas stay in Vegas or do you like it on the runway too?
**All photos via Imaxtree