Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Meanwhile, in Paris – Balmain A/W 2012

I’m in two minds about Paris Fashion Week – that is, whether or not I’d like to be there. The first part of me is going, “hell, yeah I want to be there!” and the second is kind of hesitating, …

Fri, Mar 2, 2012, 12:30

   

I’m in two minds about Paris Fashion Week – that is, whether or not I’d like to be there. The first part of me is going, “hell, yeah I want to be there!” and the second is kind of hesitating, like, “do I get a driver?” Fashion week is tough, but I’d pretty much walk over burning coals in my most painful heels to have been at today’s Balmain show. The French fashion house combined its trademark tough fabrics – leather, velvet, brocade – with sexy, structured fits and luscious embellishment for one of its most show-stopping collections yet.

And trust Balmain to take pyjama dressing and turn it on its head. Who ever heard of louche lounging in structured tailoring? Well, now you have.

These sexy, embellished mini dresses aren’t a huge departure for Balmain, but these colours are – reminiscent of Fabergé eggs or Revolution-era dress, they bring to mind an aristocracy that has been long forgotten, or at least consigned to the four walls of France’s museums.

And just check out that detailing – it’s no wonder Balmain’s prices run into the thousands, even when it’s found on discount at The Outnet.

I love these details – the collection really feels as if it took, for reference, the collections in the Louvre or the Beaux-Arts, or even the V&A in London, drawing inspiration from fabrics and interiors of centuries past.

More detail … I can really see these detailed belts catching on and being picked up by a high street near you soon.

From afar, this suit looks like a 1980s faded denim throwback; up close, you realise it’s actually the most delicately embroidered green silk. Just sumptuous.

Simple, statement dressing. Is that an oxymoron? Not any more.

Love this light teal shade … could this be the colour of autumn/winter?

More than any other high-fashion label, I really think Balmain has hugely influenced how we dress and what we buy on the high street. Studded leather jackets, shoulder pads, that sexy-tough military chic that emerged three years ago and has somehow found a way to work itself into each subsequent season … it’s all traceable to a Balmain blueprint.

What do you think? Do you like this collection?

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