Top models in tow, Rousteing celebrates 10 years at Balmain

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A model wears a creation for the Saint Laurent Spring-Summer 2022 ready-to-wear show presented on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 in Paris. (AP Photo / Thibault Camus)

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Naomi Campbell and Carla Bruni returned to the Parisian catwalks with cries of fever to help Olivier Rousteing celebrate his 10 years at the head of the creation of Balmain.

Thousands of guests pictured, mostly from the general public, crowded inside the La Seine Musicale concert complex on the outskirts of the city ahead of one of Paris Fashion Week’s biggest shows this season .

In fact, on Wednesday the exuberant creator went way beyond a show. He organized a true two-day fashion music festival, with merchandise stalls, food and champagne stalls, and performances. But it all started with a special tribute from one of Rousteing’s famous admirers.

Here are some highlights of the Spring 2022 collections in the City of Light:

HIS DECADE AT BALMAIN

An emotional recorded message from Beyoncé opened the evening’s show, paying tribute to the 36-year-old French designer who she says has strived to put diversity at the heart of her fashion.

You “brought a new mindset to help persuade fashion to finally begin to reflect the true beauty of today’s streets, the beauty that you and your team see on a daily basis on the various awe-inspiring boulevards and avenues of your neighborhood. Beloved Paris, ”she said. “For ten years you have been determined to keep pushing that door open … wide open.”

For her hit “Halo,” Campbell, 51, and Bruni, 53, strutted to the high-octane show celebrating a decade of inclusive designs.

Rousteing is known to use his exhibits as opportunities to raise awareness. Last year during sewing, he notably put all his weight into the Black Lives Matter movement.

But Wednesday was the party. From the rigid, structured silhouettes of its early ’80s to gold and metallic bodycon dresses, the exhaustive collection has scoured archival pieces from all the Rousteing years. Hoods, low waist, long swinging straps, cinched waist, jewels and those famous giant shoulders were featured in dozens of looks that were encyclopedically intermingled. In signature form, the clothes were featured on a myriad of designs in all colors, ages and sizes.

The fashion production electrified the venue – an audience made up of fashion editors as well as thousands of members of the public. Its sheer length was uncomfortable for some, delivered amid the sweltering heat of the auditorium. But thousands of people waited until late into the night to see the festivities continue, including a concert by British band Franz Ferdinand.

ROCHAS IS ECLECTIC

The gilded columns of the gilded Mona Bismarck hotel set the mood for the often resplendent Rochas exhibition to a small crowd of fashion insiders.

It all started with a shimmering ruched gold dress and giant gold pirate boots. It was the piece de resistance. It was designer Charles de Vilmorin in a daring and eclectic form.

The show’s ratings spoke of a “strange beauty” and “cinematic vignettes” that this collection would attempt to evoke. It has succeeded. Rochas’ floating forms, including tumbling parachute skirts, captured an ethereal, otherworldly vibe.

Loose, oversized proportions in the skirts and pants, along with the ubiquitous gathers and ruffles, give this show a light, floaty feel. On more than one occasion, the thorny details have given de Vilmorin’s designs an impression of Dutch couture designer Iris Van Herpen.

However, there were perhaps too many creative ideas here, including a Balkan-style leather tunic dress followed by Glam Rock boots.

THE ART OF INVITATION

Paris Fashion Week is back, after a year spent mainly in digital. And with it, the energy-consuming couriers who crisscross Paris to personally deliver invitations to always elaborate shows, often handmade.

The era of email and growing environmental awareness doesn’t seem to have left a big mark on the fashion industry’s archaic invitation system. Big houses compete for the most wacky or imaginative idea, which often bears a clue to the theme of its runway collection.

Valentino’s invitation featured artistic slides of images from Parisian cafes, models, and snippets of French poetry.

Yves Saint Laurent was a black snakeskin leather case with a huge “YSL” logo that weighed it down in gold metal. The guest’s initials were engraved inside, also in gold.

COURRÉGES IS SPORTING AT 60

For its 60th anniversary, the Space Age house in Courrèges was in great shape, touting the second collection of its latest designer Nicolas Di Felice.

In a season where the 60s seem to have arrived, the brand that defines the generation founded in 1961 by André Courrèges and his wife Coqueline could well have its time.

Flashes of the era’s slim figure and retro minidress were in abundance on Wednesday. Those mixed with the Space Age signature sparkle – seen in wading boots that made a very sexy statement indeed.

But the staging of the show on a grassy field was the main clue of its direction this season: Sport riding. A baseball cap was a version of a riding helmet alongside flared pants with a fringed hem cleverly resembling the leg of a county horse. The oversized earrings looked like a quick-release knot from a stable.

The clean palette contrasted nicely with the eerie glow of cadmium yellow or brilliant azure to give this sleek collection a youthful feel.

FASHION FOR ALL BODIES

Fundraising and awareness raising for the victims of the war, the First Lady of France Brigitte Macron will join Defense Minister Florence Parly and other senior officials at the Hôtel des Invalides on Wednesday evening for an unusual parade of Fashion Week in Paris.

A new collection by Italian designer Fabio Porlod will feature female amputees and injured women. They will walk in front of the monument, which is Napoleon’s last resting place.

The French Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that “the initiative is part of a charity event whose funds raised will improve the living environment of seriously wounded war-wounded, victims of attacks and people hospitalized at the National Institution of Invalids “.


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