Olivier Rousteing had some pretty big shoes to fill this season, as the new 25-year-old designer stepped in with the sudden departure of Christophe Decarnin, as creative director of the 66-year-old label Balmain. Having worked under Christophe Decarnin for two years, all eyes were on him to see what the young protégé had to offer the famously edgy line.
Well, Olivier and Balmain fans alike can breath a sigh of relief—the new Spring/Summer 2012 collection has been receiving rave reviews, and people are definitely taking a liking the line’s new direction. While still keeping the embellishments and elaborate detailing that Balmain’s known for, Olivier added a touch of class to the act, with tailored separates, looser, cleaner lines, and even touches of the everyday favorite, baby blue denim. “Mixing the tailoring of Mexico and the glamour of Vegas” is how Olivier describes the new direction, citing his inspirations as being Oscar de la Renta and founder Pierre Balmain himself.
The result? Classic button-downs and trousers dolled up with gold patchwork, studs, and embroidery, luxurious black leather separates, accessorized by thick gold cuffs and large Western-inspired belt buckles. The soft blues, and even a few wallpaper-floral pieces, were welcome additions that softened the label’s customary black and white palette, revealing a bright future for both Balmain and its successful new designer.