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Balmain's Olivier Rousteing Plays With Pastel Suede and Satin For Fall

He also played with wigs.
Binx Walton in the fall 2016 Balmain runway show. Photo: Imaxtree

Binx Walton in the fall 2016 Balmain runway show. Photo: Imaxtree

It feels like only yesterday that Kim Kardashian showed up at the fall 2015 Balmain runway presentation with platinum blonde hair, effectively stealing the show. Flash forward to Thursday in Paris, when her powerful family was represented in the front row of the French house's latest paparazzi-targeted event by Kris Jenner and Kanye West. They left the spotlight-hogging to Kendall Jenner: The buzzy brunette model opened the show in a blond wig, followed by Californian blonde Gigi Hadid in a dark brown one, a switch-up repeated by a host of other top models. Two things to note: clearly Jenner has the most cache in the #BalmainArmy (she also closed the show), and there's a certain irony in trying to disguise the identities of models whose name recognition is the main reason they are hired. That's so meta. 

In terms of the clothes, designer Olivier Rousteing went deep on skintight suede in soft pastel blue, pink and camel, taking the form of thigh-high boots, waist-cinching minidresses and tight trousers. Those core Balmain pieces also came in stretchy satin in a metallic paisley and a vertically striped pink and blue pattern, sometimes accentuated by flowers. It reminded me of 18th-Century French wallpaper. The head-to-toe pastel striped looks also slightly recalled pajamas, albeit not very comfortable ones. And sheer lace pants and tops trimmed with ruffles along the arms and legs were a statement-making take on lingerie. 

Of course, it wouldn't be Balmain without thick, intricate beading and fringe, fur and cross-stitching accents that scream luxury. A black and pastel blue fringe skirt — Gigi's second look — was particularly impressive in motion. It kicked off the second half of the show's more evening-appropriate looks, featuring a darker color palette (with some flashes of kelly green) and a standout black and gold gown modeled by Binx Walton that probably deserved to close the show. It was gilded and glamorous and revealing in a way that felt newer than the rest. Oh, and obviously, it was perfectly designed for any number of the Kardashian/Jenner/Wests.

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