Balmain FW24 Fashions the Fruits of Bordeaux

Designer Olivier Rousteing juxtaposed Pierre Balmain’s green thumb with the famous crops of his hometown.

Fashion
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“Just as we always do, my team and I began preparing for this collection by combing through Balmain’s extensive archives,” Olivier Rousteing wrote in his show notes. The creative director looked to Monsieur Balmain’s green thumb to begin his Fall/Winter 2024 manifesto, juxtaposing the founder’s cultivated embellishments with elements of his own identity — namely, three-dimensional depictions of grapes, the most famous crop from Rousteing’s hometown of Bordeaux.

“Admittedly, I may be just the tiniest bit biased, but I do believe that my childhood home is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities,” said Rousteing. In this collection, the designer looked to set the town’s graceful dignity against Pierre Balmain’s “New French Style” to produce a line for women of all ages.

Trench coats are central to the range, as Bordeaux is known for its rainy weather. Rousteing toyed with the traditional silhouette, updating archival iterations to meet the modern-day consumer and taking elements from the hero piece to produce referential cropped jackets, dresses, skirts and trousers. Despite the wet climate, Bordeaux residents are known to enjoy the city’s outdoor markets, per the designer. Here, he elevated the vendors’ traditional string, panier and wicker bags to become luxurious accessories.

Nodding to picnics (a favored pastime in the French city), Balmain’s classic Vichy print becomes massive on several fruit-laden gowns, and an embroidered green viscose coat pays homage to the town’s natural settings. Another Bordeaux staple, escargot, sparked inspiration for Rousteing, who crafted a gold metal breast plate, buttons, jewels and ornaments after snail shells.

“I suggest taking the time needed to make some close inspections—for what might appear at first glance to be a pattern, print or cross-stitch, may reveal itself to be a remarkable, intricately beaded creation,” said the designer. At Balmain, the fruit of the House is in the details.

See Balmain’s Fall/Winter 2024 collection in the gallery above, and stay tuned to Hypebeast for more Paris Fashion Week coverage.

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