Designer Olivier Rousteing channels the traditional art of corsetry for Balmain’s Fall/Winter 2016 collection. Celebrating the natural beauty of each woman, Rousteing uses the niche craftsmanship technique to deliver a range that emphasizes shape and proportion. Defined by smooth curves and corset-inspired offerings, the collection reimagines the enchantment of a dying practice through the introduction of light greys and soft pastels, lace tailoring and lingerie-focused designs.
The show’s corsetry and its metallic waist-shaper belts put the emphasis squarely on the rounded and uplifted derriere. Beyond that, Rousteing’s message for Fall was about the decorated body: pearl-encrusted and tasseled poitrines, lacy legs undulating with ruffles, rococo beaded embroideries on clingy velvet and sheer mesh, and hyper-fitted tailoring in tapestry silks.
In the period following World War II, Pierre Balmain was “a king of French fashion” and outfitted stars including Ava Gardner and Brigitte Bardot. His most famous client was Queen Sirikit of Thailand. After Pierre Balmain’s death in 1982, the house was led by Erik Mortensen. Oscar de la Renta led the house between 1993 and 2002.Under Pierre Balmain, Mortensen, and de la Renta, the house was known for its classic, luxurious designs. Around 2008 and 2009, the clothing line became extremely popular both among fashion magazines, runways and celebrities. Until 2011, the house was led by designer Christophe Decarnin, whose vision for the house is more modern and edgier. In April 2011, the fashion house announced that Decarnin was succeeded by Olivier Rousteing.