Balmain x H&M Runway Show
H&M continues to shine in its vital role as a link between high fashion and retail through their Balmain collection, fresh off the runway. The show highlighted the experience of traveling through Olivier Rousteing’s career, from his designer-by-day and dancer-by-night, and his attention to detailing and craftsmanship. The collection feels like a nod to the 20 year-old Rousteing who is today, a fan of Balmain on a H&M budget.
Olivier Rousteing did not take short cuts designing this collection. Each look is true to the Balmain signature of jewel tones, wide high-waisted belts, handmade embellishments, and even silk harem pants. Previous H&M collaborations left a lot of room for styling or pairing your purchases next to items already in your closet; this collection is more of a head-to-toe shopping spree. The emerald, embellished plunging v-neck dress retails for $199 and to compliment it who can resist the forest green faux-fur wrap jacket for $149. There is a ‘Look’ one can convey that makes them feel like a part of this dynasty and for the first time, you can get it for under $500.
Who the customer is for this collection, is a tricky question, but answered very clearly on the runway. The H&M demographic is practically anyone from age 12-45. Not an easy audience, but Rousteing accomplished a collection for the whole range in 70 looks. The thick waist belt shown on almost every model may not be flattering for all, but somehow there is a look for the teenager, college student, first year lawyer and a busy mother of three. The show not only filled our wonder from what to expect – having only had the subway campaign to hold us over until November 5th when the collection hits stores – its styling was critical and should not go unnoticed.
A jeweled shift dress paired over black over-the-knee boots seen multiple times is perfectly on style for today’s fashion, while paying respect to Balmain’s legacy. As if layering is something new, Rousteing put the black and white oversized embroidered blazer on top of a solid bandeau amid silk harem pants that felt regal and unexpected. The color red was undeniably a standout significance for the collection, men and women head-to-toe in ruby red made the bold statement of the evening. This collection is expected to sell out in hours, however, we will always have these moments to look back on and remember for years to come.