27 Jun Balmain’s Creative Maximalist Menswear
70s sportsmen, hip-hop and representing his own generation: creative director Olivier Rousteing reveals his SS15 inspiration…
Warrior men. If Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing creates womenswear for fearless, strong women, his menswear is infused with a similar fighting spirit. For SS15, he presented incredibly detailed beaded jackets, combining them with fitted sportswear to create a modern street armour.
Nothing less than decadence should be expected from the self confessed ‘maximalist’ Rousteing. Last year, when trying on clothes in the Balmain showroom, campaign girl Rihanna tweeted: “This shit is art, like you don’t even wanna touch it!!!” The same could be said of his offerings for this season’s menswear, especially the jackets – which combined elements of the African weaving that inspired AW14 with intricate beading. The shoes, open toed sandal/walking boot hybrids, looked like something Hermes, the messenger of Greek myth, would trade his winged gladiators for were he incarnated in 2014.
Hip-hop and 70s sportsmen:
“This season, it was all about being sporty and effortless,” Rousteing revealed, drawing his inspiration from the World Cup, 70s athletes and the intersection between hip-hop culture and sportswear. Before the presentation, the prolific hashtagger posted a sneak peek of the collection to his 360,000 Instagram followers: a mash-up of lookbook images and pictures of French ski champ Jean-Claude Killy, whose influence can be seen in the collection’s vivid, tailored sportswear. Rousteing is a designer that works very much according to his own tastes, and his casting of model Dudley O’Shaughnessy – who could pass for his brother – for the lookbook indicates that this is true now more than ever. “I still love past generations,” he said, “but I need to push mine now.”
Photography Marie-Amélie Tondu