I'm just going to come out and say it: I haven't really been a fan of Balmain. I know, I know, fashion blasphemy, and I do love Olivier Rousteing, but the past collection or two have been too structured for me. The entire runway of F/W 2016/2017 looked like a lineup of models dressed in effeminate body armor. Don't get me wrong--Balmain can be absolutely stunning, and Rousteing can really steal the show during awards season, but it just hasn't really been inspiring to me in the past.
Throw that entire rant in the garbage for this resort collection--it was absolutely fabulous. And I went in with my mind pretty much set up. As the pictures of the collection were loading, I was practically groaning inwardly. However, Rousteing made me practically embarrassed for ever having any doubt.
If Balmain has had problems with too much structure in the past, this collection doesn't have a trace of that. Each piece is free and easy; it exudes vacation. While the fall collection was mainly pastel and muted colors, this collection pops--each piece is a rainbow. Perhaps it's Rousteing's way of paying tribute to the lives that were taken in Orlando...let's just ignore the fact that he probably designed these looks before the tragedy. It's either sentimental or great timing.
A few looks that stood out:
Look 2: Model wears a simple, dark green jumpsuit with subtle ruffling, a royal blue high-waisted belt, and a giant gold necklace. The fact that the necklace is short saves it from being garish and allows the eyes to focus on the simple silhouette of the jumpsuit.
Look 4: Gold pants and a ruffled mermaid skirt. I feel like I'm on a fantasy disco island.
Look 6: This dress is reminiscent of a peacock and it's absolutely illuminating on this model. Paired with another simple gold necklace with a thick orange ribbon and turquoise stone.
Look 10: This reminds me of Rainbow Brite, in the best way possible.
Look 12: While the collection thus far makes me think of a tropical island, this look reminds me of something brought back from Mexico during my childhood. Woven, colorful pants, an equally bright belt, and a muted deep tan top and cape/coat. Perfect contrast.
Look 15: The detail on this dress is like something you'd see hanging in a psychiatrist's office for interpretation. I can't stop looking!
Look 29: Simple and sophisticated. A little more serious than the rest of the collection; it has more of an elegance.
Look 30: A tame version of psychedelics...who knew that was possible?
And those purses! I have no words. Just the heart-eyes emoji. No clue what I'm talking about? Check out the full collection here http://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/resort-2017/balmain