Balmain X Paris Opera

Balmain is synonymous with style, sexiness and supermodels.  Think structured yet flexible styles with beading so intricate that even bridal designer Inbal Dror is a fan.  It’s a brand with a legion of celebrity fans, the Balmain Army is made up of the Kardashian Klan, Kanye, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Rihanna and a whole host of famous faces and its signature aesthetic influences almost every high street store, particularly during the festive season.  Creative Director Olivier Rousteing is a man with his finger firmly on the fashion pulse and where he goes, others follow, he dictates trends, he creates new proportions each season and his runways are walked by the most famous supermodels in the world.

So, what’s next for the man who has it all?  Rousteing is about to step on to a whole new playing field with a whole new brief: create a whole new set of costumes for the latest ballet to hit the Paris Opera.  It’s no easy task designing for ballerinas, the costumes must be flexible enough to allow the dancers to move freely and comfortable enough for them to hold those breathtaking shapes they’re famous for, all whilst looking amazing of course.

When dancer and choreographer Sébastien Bertaud tapped up Rousteing to create a bespoke collection for Renaissance, a four piece ballet which will be performed at the Paris Opera between June 13th to 18th, he jumped at the chance.  As a lifelong fan of dance he saw it as a chance to evolve, to shift the aesthetic of Balmain into the future by drawing on inspiration from the past.

“To be honest, I was really surprised and moved because, for me, this goes beyond designing clothes for the opera.  This project really represents French heritage, obviously I love the world of pop, but for me, it all goes back to classical dance.  I’ve been fascinated with it since I was a child.”   Olivier Rousteing, Creative Director, Balmain

Rousteing was given absolute creative control over the project with the sole aim of making ballet more appealing, relevant and accessible to a younger generation and revealing snapshots of the collection on Instagram, it appears that’s exactly what he’s done.  Set in a colour palette made up mostly of shades of white, that famous Balmain beading is everywhere and is used to excellent effect.
“My ambition is to create a classical ballet for today, so the idea was to be able to continue mining that DNA while looking to the future.  For me, Olivier was the only person today who shares the same approach of innovating while respecting traditional techniques.”  Sébastien Bertaud, Choreographer
There has always been a relationship between fashion and dance but right now it’s having something of a moment, with new ballet inspired micro collections popping up all over the high street, notably from Puma and Adidas.  Editorial dance photography has been been bubbling away underground for a while now with dance photographers like the formidable Hannah Todd leading the scene and it looks to be breaking through to the mainstream.  With Olivier Rousteing’s Balmain putting a sexy twist on ballet costumes, it’s only a matter of time before we’re all taking up first position at the barre…
Pixie xo

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