*Not All Looks Shown
Balmain creative director, Olivier Rousteing never travels without a harem of supermodel friends dressed head-to-toe in his latest wears. However, when the designer stepped onto the Billboard Music Awards red carpet with Kendall Jenner and Jourdan Dunn in tow, the two beauties were spotted in unfamiliar frocks that were not apart of Rousteing’s last collection. It turns out that their knockout looks were a teaser for Balmain’s new collaboration with H&M and this highly-photographed moment was an ingenious publicity stunt to break the news.
Once the announcement became official via social media, fashionistas of all types (and all budgets) jumped for joy. But this wouldn’t be the first time a high-end label has joined forces with the retail giant; Balmain’s is just the latest in a succession of affordable collections from the likes of Karl Lagerfeld in 2004, Stella McCartney in 2005, Versace in 2011, and Alexander Wang in 2014.
In months following the fashion trio’s red carpet appearance, magazine ads and leaked photos heightened the already prevalent anticipation for the collection. Finally, the house of Balmain and H&M debuted their fashion love child in full. The runway show, held at 23 Wall Street, was nothing short of an all-out extravaganza. The two-floor venue was transformed into somewhat of a VIP nightclub, complete with a light up staircase, numerous bars, and elaborate hip-hop dance routines.
As for the clothes, they were a magnificent combination of Balmain and H&M; every bit as gorgeous as you would want them to be. Each piece infused Balmain’s signature touch of glamour with H&M’s on-trend aesthetic, making for a perfect mix of high and low. During the design process, Rousteing opted to re-create Balmain staples from season’s past like his famous pleated silk bubble skirt and heavily embroidered tuxedo dresses.
This decision may raise the question: why? Why, in an industry that craves newness, would he produce modified copies of his old creations? Well, Rousteing has a rather sincere answer. The designer recalls the feeling of not being able to purchase runway items and wanted to give his new clientele an affordable version of Balmain’s magic and luxury. With prices ranging from $17.99 for a cocktail ring to $649 for beaded minidress, everyone can be apart of Rousteing’s army of glamazons known as the “Balmain Nation.” All of the clothes worn by the likes of Joan, Kendall, and Gigi on the runway are available online and in-stores today (November 5). Better whip out those credit cards quick because this one’s sure to sell out fast.