DESIGNER OF THE MONTH: BALMAIN

Balmain logo

One of my favorite fashion brands is BALMAIN, so it is only fitting that the Parisian fashion house be the first designer featured in the newest segment called Designer Of The Month

Pierre Balmain

Balmain wasn’t always the edgy, rocker chic fashion house that we have grown to love, long before the embellished blazers, Pierre Balmain, along with Christian Dior and Cristobal Balenciaga, had been credited with reinventing haute couture after World War II. The Parisian prodigy once said that “dressmaking is the architecture of movement”, which comes as no surprise being that his elegantly, feminine looks were fashion favorites among European royalty and Hollywood’s A-list.

pierre balmain designs

Taken in 1956. Model is seen wearing an embroidered French lace strapless sheath dress with taffeta sash. The lace lined mink stole adds a stylish touch to the elegant dress.

Taken in 1954, a model poses in double-breasted suit, tie, and wide brimmed hat by Balmain.

Taken in 1954, a model poses in double-breasted suit, tie, and wide brimmed hat by Balmain.

Opening his first fashion house was a no brainer for “The King of French Fashion”, Balmain started in 1945 showcasing long, bell shaped skirts with small waists. In the 1950’s Balmain became a brand people were familiar with and with good reason, the Parisian label started popping up in the U.S. with his ready to wear collections, and Mr. Balmain had singlehandedly transformed the stole into a trendy piece for day and evening wear. Balmain had gained a reputation that he could design anything from tailored suits and elegant evening gowns to perfumes.

pierre balmain designs 3

Looks from the Balmain Spring Summer 1983 collection.

Mr. Balmain at work.

Mr. Balmain at work.

Erik Mortenson took over the house in 1982 after the death of Mr. Balmain, and by the early nineties Oscar de la Renta lent his creative abilities, keeping the tradition of Balmain’s classic, luxuriously elegant designs alive. The start of the new millennium brought new changes to the legendary house, one was with a new creative director and the other was the new vision the director brought along. Christophe Decarnin led Balmain to the modern, edgier path we now know it for. Taking over in 2005, Decarnin reinvented the French fashion house, introducing it to a much younger audience that became infatuated with the designer’s chic futuristic vision. Even with the hefty price tags, $6,000 for select jeans and $2,000 for a t-shirt with holes, BALMAINIA had struck amongst young, rich fashionistas proving to be more than just a fashion fad.

Embellished jackets became a Balmain staple when Christophe Decarnin took over. Balmain jackets were a key player that made fashionistas catch  Balmainia fever!

Embellished jackets became a Balmain staple when Christophe Decarnin took over. These jackets were a key player that made fashionistas catch Balmainia fever!

Christophe Decarnin for Balmain Fall 2010

Christophe Decarnin for Balmain Fall 2010

Christophe Decarnin for Balmain Fall 2010

Christophe Decarnin for Balmain Fall 2010

Olivier Rousteing, after working with Decarnin, took over the ranks in 2011. There was much skepticism regarding Rousteing, people feared he wouldn’t be able to achieve the success that the label had with Decarnin. However, his first collection, Resort 2011, showed critics that Rousteing was no Decarnin, and by the spring that theory was further proven. In just the span of 2 collections, Rousteing had successfully managed to run a legendary label, putting his own spin on designs while never forgetting the history of the house.

Posing with one of his creations.

Mr. Rousteing posing with one of his creations.

Olivier Rousteing for Balmain Fall 2012. Mr. Rousteing has stated that he was inspired by a Faberge egg for the collection.

Olivier Rousteing for Balmain Fall 2012. Mr. Rousteing has stated that he was inspired by a Faberge egg for the collection.

Balmain Today. A look  from the Resort 2014 collection.

Balmain Today. A look from the Resort 2014 collection.

Rousteing has a magical of way of incorporating class and timelessness back into the brand, while at the same time still having an edgy look. He is a master at catering to the many characteristics of a woman. “I think “classic” is the right word. I want to go to something more timeless. Something that goes for the future. What I love from the old French house, it’s not seasonal. It’s something that stays. That’s my goal for Balmain. Keeping the sexiness but a bit dressier. For a woman who’s more chic, [to] expand from the woman who was before”. And that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Olivier Rousteing Quote: http://www.style.com/stylefile/2011/12/more-flash-than-trash-olivier-rousteing-at-balmain/

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