Balmain is really branching out this year when it comes to their brand reputation. After decades of being innovative but not aggressively fashion-forward, Oliver Rousteing is venturing away from conventional fashion settings into more artistic endeavors. Later this summer, the top classical dance company in Paris will debut a short ballet costume exclusively by Balmain and Rousteing and the brand recently started dabbling in interior design. Innovative as these additional projects are, the most concentrated example of the label’s daring new direction was their Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear collection. This new line featured animal prints that encompassed each outfit with aggressive flair and personality. Both gothic and primal, it was one of the boldest collections showcased during the March ready-to-wear fashion shows in Europe this season. Whether you prefer the occasional accent with your outfit or your whole wardrobe is one giant statement piece, Balmain can teach you a lot about standing out in 2017.
If cowhide and alligator leather are wearing you down, try snakeskin. It’s exotic, freaky, and just refined enough to be couture without feeling like the establishment.
A NEW VINTAGE
Pairing gaudy pendants with Art Deco lipstick and a short slip dress, Balmain demonstrates that vintage doesn’t have to look retro. Find ways to vamp up your classic chic this fall.
When black-on-black feels too dull for your wardrobe, brighten it up with some vibrant accents of color. This look from the Balmain runway shows just how much a bright hem print can do. Also, get your 90s on and wear a choker.
Rediscovering the 70s gave lots of old designs new life. One of them was fringe. This fall, don’t think of tassels and dangling strips of fabric as niche. Ponder how you can make them work with your outfits.
Though most of 2017’s haute couture graphic tees have been equestrian-themed, Balmain’s Fall collection gave wolves the prominent t-shirt spot. Once a symbol of emotional high school angst, these types of tops are coming into their own as fashionable clothing this year.
TIGER PRINT MAXI
Animal prints aren’t just for purses and tops anymore. Go a little wild and embrace your animalistic side with an evening dress covered in tiger stripes or leopard spots.
Piecing together fabric to look like a revealing collage is nothing new, but Balmain’s design is the most wearable version of this design fad we’ve seen in a long time. Looks like you can get a little metaphysical with your dress this fall if that’s your thing.
Last year the lined coat of choice was a bomber. In 2017, Balmain has moved into new territory with this shearling-lined, free-flowing trench coat. It will shield you from the cold and give whatever you’re wearing some extra regal oomph.
Most of Balmain’s Fall collection seemed to emphasize that black and white outfits needed something more to them. The exception were zebra prints. This jagged pattern shows that even simple grayscale can be compelling if you know how to wear it.
Tough and wild, Balmain’s Fall Ready-to-Wear collection makes safari fashion fun. Stick something primal and fresh in your wardrobe for next season. It may seem like too much now, but trust us. After a night on the town, you’ll be glad you threw caution to the wind.
— Scarlett Price