Why I Love Balmain…
Last Monday I shared with you why I love the label Alexander Wang. However today, I’m going to show you why I love Balmain. First for a little bit of history:
Balmain was founded in 1945 at the end of the war, by Pierre Balmain (1914 – 1982). Pierre Balmain was trained by two of the finest couturiers of the time; Molyneux and Lucien Lelong, so when he set up shop on the Rue François 1er, female clients came flocking to buy his new, luxury, and beautifully embroidered clothes.
In the 1960’s Balmain had clients among stars such as Brigitte Bardot, Marlène Dietrich and Katherine Hepburn. What’s more, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand, appointed him as her exclusive couturier. The 1970’s saw the introduction of the ready-to-wear line of clothes.
Brigitte Bardot in Balmain
In 1982, when Pierre Balmain died, his very first assistant, Erik Mortensen took the helm. He was recognised with the Golden Thimble award twice. When he left Balmain in 1990, Hervé Pierre took over for 2 years. In 1993, Oscar de la Renta took over and remained Artistic Director of Haute Couture at Balmain until 2002. Meanwhile, in 1998, Giles Dufour had been appointed as Artistic Director of the ready-to-wear line, and was so until 2000. In 2002, Laurent Mercier was appointed as Artistic Director of the ready-to-wear line, as well as Haute Couture. In 2006 Christophe Decarnin was head of women’s ready-to-wear, as well as creating the men’s ready-to-wear line. In 2011, Olivier Rousteing, who had been head of women’s wear at Balmain since 2009, was appointed the new director of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear.
So… Why do I love Balmain? Let me start with the type of clothes they create. Once upon a time, Balmain was famous for their elegant and feminine clothes. Now it seems as if it has started rebelling against its self. Gone are the fluid dresses, and in are the structured and rock-chic clothes. Don’t get me wrong; there are still some flowing dresses, but the large majority has a grungy style. Here are a few examples:
I love the detail in some of these pieces. I’m a huge fan of the military jackets; in fact this could have been the trigger for the huge military trend a few seasons ago. I love the slashed jeans and ripped shorts, and again, I love the leather detailing in almost every outfit.
I also mentioned their structured clothes; from their bodycon dresses to their trouser/jacket combos with clean lines:
I particularly love the spiky shoulders on a few of the dresses above. I also love the dress second from the left; it has great shape to it, and is quite different to the characteristic Balmain style. The two end outfits have immaculately clean lines, and are incredibly sleek. I love them because they are fabulously non-fussy. The skirt below is also very structured; it looks like it would suck you in, and make you look fabulous.
I love the quilting and the cinched in waist. The gold zips on the pockets and up the back as well as the gold medallions on the side add to the interest of this skirt.
Secondly I love Balmain because of the exquisite embroidery and detailing. The bag, top and shoes below are a perfect example of this:
But of course this all comes at a price; Balmain is very expensive, and therefore remains its exclusivity. Only the super rich could afford these clothes, unless of course you took out a loan to pay for them!
So that pretty much sums up what I love about Balmain; their clothes are grungy and structured (some feminine), beautifully adorned with embroidery and chains, and they are exclusive because of the luxury price tag.
Check out my blog next Monday for Why I Love Basso & Brooke…
All catwalk images and clothes taken off http://www.balmain.com, except skirt from Net-a-porter.com.
ewfashionblogger – Your online fashion stylist.