I know that’s a terrible headline, but this show is 105 looks. And that’s a lot to look at, but Balmain is a designer we know is going to turn up here and there, so flex those fingers and click that mouse — or, if you’re me, tap that right arrow key — and you can blitz through this thing and see how badly it needed an edit. There are some neatly tailored jackets in here, mixed with some bad denim and an overall theme of body armor. I feel for them on that one, as the inspiration had to do with both the gear that Rousteing wore when he recovered from horrific burns, and I believe some social media bullying of which I had not been aware. But then Russia invaded Ukraine, and Olivier Rousteing released a statement trying to make clear that this was not connected and was in no way an attempt to use that situation or make light of it:
“These runway offerings were not designed as a direct response to the recent horrific invasion of our neighbours and I would never dare to even think of comparing the suffering that they are going through right now with the problems that I have had on social media. Still, as we watch the news, my team and I do keep in mind this collection’s message: united in solidarity, we can rely on the power of hope and truth to push back against hate, lies and aggression.”
It must be hard to work so hard for MONTHS on something and then have the world change the context for you.