There is no middle ground with Balmain. Rousteing's collections have gained him unwavering adoration, with pieces placed on pedestals. But if copious ornamentation is not your Achilles heel, chances are slim that your sentiments will remain ambivalent towards this collection.
But surely, it might be blasphemous to overlook the beauty in the intricate detailing the brand champions. The jacket with loops and knots revealed a woven inner (Look 1), and the same weaving was applied to yet another jacket, this time in its entirety (Look 12). Rousteing's dedication to detail is undeniably admirable.
Equestrian and workwear influences stoodout from the collection, alongside the signature military slant. The rounded caps, lace-up sandals with form reminiscent of boots and jumpers emblazoned with the Union Jack (a nod to the English riding tradition, perhaps?) hinted at equestrian inspiration; the neutral, earthy colour scheme for those ensembles also another tell-tale sign. The cargo trousers, utility jackets and jumpsuit (Look 9) speak for the workwear offerings.
The smattering of womanswear were très Balmain... with intricately designed form-fitting dresses complete with the signature strong shoulders and mandatory dash of glitz. Short hemlines were expertly balanced with sturdier form, and fluidity of fabric was reserved for those cut floor-length.
While the Balmain classic (Look 56) never fails to capture our hearts... we welcome the new influences and colour palette with open arms. A refreshing change, the Rousteing magic keeps the pieces well within the brand's forte, all while bringing something new to the table. Perfect.
To see the full collection, click on the slideshow below.
To see all our coverage of Paris Men's Fashion Week SS16, click here.