Balmain SS17 : Globalization in Haute Couture

by Lotus Ladegaard

With Olivier Rousteing’s arrival at Balmain, the Fashion House once again turned its attention and focus on the actual design rather than the designer. The then young and unknown designer successfully oriented the brand towards finer aspects of French couture, added a men’s line and some Asian influence. He had a fresh take on aesthetics, but still kept it very Balmain. 

Balmain’s SS17 collection was an intriguing duet between beautifully tailored pieces and aetherial flowy pieces for the modern day woman. The colour palette was mostly kept in earth tones, burned oranges and browns, army green and dark khakis with some occasional bright reds and blues and snake prints in various colours. From safari inspired pieces to punjabi inspired looks, the SS17 collection seemed like a cohesive journey around the world with influences from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, America and back to the Parisian catwalk again. without letting us forget, we were in Balmain’s universe. Olivier Rousteing has far from erased the intricate design aesthetics Christophe Decarnin added, but he has improved on it and seamlessly fusioned the classic Balmain silhouette with his take on intricate design featuring cut-outs, drapery, manipulated and braided fabrics. Balmain undoubtedly still favours a tall slim small chested figure and the collections is definitely not for every woman, nonetheless, there were pieces for most sizes and shapes. 

Balmain has always been celebrated the female figure and the SS17 collection is exactly that a celebration of women around the world. 



Lotus Ladegaard is a Copenhagen based writer.