At Balmain’s glittering, fashion extravaganza Olivier Rousteing transported us back to the 80s, and rocketed us back to the future with his high-energy Spring 2020 menswear show in Paris. The show was a fashion and music spectacular, with the designer capitalizing on Paris’ “Fête de la Musique” annual summer solstice celebration on the longest night of the year. Rousteing invited a 2,000 plus crowd to his outdoor concert/fund-raiser for Bono’s RED charity, a Global Fund for fighting AIDS.
Headlining the event was former Glee star, actor Darren Criss and British band “Years and Years.” Instead of a traditional runway there was a Balmain music stage with Rousteing himself offering up an introduction. “As my team and I planned for today’s concert-runway, we aimed to keep it simple, concentrating on one clear message: our belief in the possibility of a more inclusive, joyful future for fashion.” An eighties inspiration was seen throughout the entire collection, but Rousteing also offered his vision for the future.
Rousteing’s extraordinary outing featured a heavy dose of futurism with jumpsuits and weekend bags the color of freshly polished silver, while a transparent trench appeared to be covered with shattered bits of glass. Biker jackets shimmered in chrome and mirrored PVC, along with an offering of very strong, slouchy tailoring – think dropped crotch trousers and shoulder pads. Rousteing embraced the pastel trend with a nod to Miami Vice in the form of tuxedos accentuated with power shoulders. There were skinny jeans the color of mint, yellow and baby pink Easter eggs, worn with coordinating jackets tailored with extra-fierce lapels. “I want this to be a collection for today, but also for 2050 or 2060, with all the chic and playfulness and craftsmanship of Balmain, and my French touch with all the polka dots and stripes,” said Rousteing.