A Night At The Balmain Opera

For anyone complaining Olivier Rousteing was a one-trick pony, let them be silent. They may not necessarily like what he's done next either in the transparent-zip skirts that opened the show, but the point is he doesn't just do bling jackets and dresses. There was swing here too for a night-at-the-opera of a collection that was a trip down memory lane for the designer who first visited Palais Garnier 22 years ago, aged 10, this the site and scene of what today would become a full-circle perfect kind of memory. Back then, he still dreamed of yet becoming a designer; now, he is. He's the belle of the Paris Fashion Week ball. 

 


Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION

Of course he didn't completely depart from what we know him for best – that just wouldn't make sense as that's what has, after all, defined him and made the brand cult in status, even though perhaps not always a favourite of fashion critics. But on a personal note, as he always issues at the shows, he answered them – as well as the questions and ambitions racing around the mind of that younger self. 

"A note to me, twenty-two years ago...There will be stumbles, mistakes and regrets. You'll need to make compromises that you don't believe in, absorb criticisms that sting and keep moving forward..."

Certainly he expanded into more ideas here – those transparent numbers and woven swing skirts, loads and loads of surface texture from lattice designs to punctuated and studded jackets and sequins and sequins. It was bold and it was sparkles because it was Olivier and it sparkled and was bold because we were at the opera, this more of a rock 'n' roll take. 

Monochrome stripes and chains and tassels dripped and festooned the pieces as though they had been Balmain dipped. And tweedy jackets and ensembles felt more grown up – something which, overall, the collection seemed to be. It makes sense, Rousteing has grown up and his note to himself was the perfect illustration and parallel to this. 

"Yes, right now you might just be a 10-year-old kid from the provinces, wrapping up your first visit to the capital with a night at the opera, but this is destined to become a guiding memory for you," he wrote.

And regardless of anything else, Rousteing certainly knows how to nail the feel-good factor, which shouldn't be overlooked.