Balmain's Celebratory Spring 2022 Show Is Olivier Rousteing at His Best

The designer marks his tenth year as the house’s creative director with a star-studded and deeply personal runway show.

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Balmain‘s Spring 2022 show is more than a runway collection, it’s a celebration, marking ten years of Olivier Rousteing‘s reign at the house.

Rousteing, who became the creative director aged just 25, has created a Balmain of his own vision that’s loved by many, including Beyoncé, who shared some words in the second part of the show, saying “You helped me make my musical statement… You helped me amplify my message. Your designs have made me feel powerful… Balmain is your amazing tool for both beauty and change. Your outlook, your convictions, and your talent have affected and moved all of us.”

The star-studded show, which saw the likes of Precious Lee and Naomi Campbell walk down the runway, was equally important in its own right as it was a return to IRL shows. Coupled with the Balmain Festival that accommodated over 6,000 guests and saw performances from Doja Cat and Franz Ferdinand, Spring 2022 was incredibly important all-around for the brand and its reigning designer.

As for what was presented, it was Rousteing’s usual affair of dazzling and drop-dead-gorgeous garments for both men and women. Speaking on the collection’s presentation, Rousteing said, “The Balmain Army has always had its ranks filled by passionate rebels who are stubborn troublemakers. They’re most comfortable when they are pushing forward and nobody can stop them when they feel the need to push back. Their signature nonchalance is very evident on today’s stage, and, when paired with next season’s sleek silhouettes, it’s that confident swagger that helps create this runway’s uniquely powerful and seductive vibe.”

Powerful it was indeed, as the personal touches run deep this season. Last year, Rousteing suffered from painful burns as a result of an accident, and after being wrapped in bandages and gauze wraps, he takes this to the collection with dresses and other garments that drape on the floor, looking half-undone in a way to show progression. But then, golden bands adorned by many models on the runway reference the ring sets that the designer adopted to hide his scars. He adds, “By embracing that previous pain and celebrating the power of healing, somehow I’ve been able to translate them into beautiful components of my designs.”

As expected, tailoring is as close to perfect as it comes, with a blazer showcasing its exposed stitches — perhaps another reference to Rousteing’s injuries — and multiple leather jackets in both fitted and oversized biker iterations taking center stage. Paired with many looks are padded bags that wear chunky gold chains, while a particular standout would be the women’s neck chain that doubles as a daring top, or the men’s jacket that’s made from gold chains that interlink to create a piece that swishes down the runway.

Balmain Spring 2022 was Rousteing at his very best, as it should be for the designer’s 10th anniversary at the house. Take a look at the collection in the gallery and video above, and hear Beyoncé’s message below.

In other news, Tod’s has tapped Hender Scheme for a stunningly simple capsule.

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