Olivier Rousteing’s self declared army of Balmainiacs were back in force on his catwalk this afternoon: sweeping across the impressively shiny catwalk in the reassuringly decadent Hotel Potocki were his ladies, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, Lily Donaldson, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Joan Smalls and Jourdan Dunn.
Thrillingly he foxed his audience by having Kendall and Gigi do a (wig-enabled) hair swap. There was Kris Jenner on the front row, her son-in-law, Kanye West sat beside her, Kim-less, yet cunningly clad in a grey hoodie (hood up at all times) and a pearl encrusted jacket.
In his show notes, Rousteing explained that the collection came to fruition precisely on “October 25th, in a Queens photo studio. That morning, as my team and I watched Steven Klein shoot Cindy, Claudia and Naomi for Balmain’s latest campaign, we were in awe of what was happening in front of the camera. The pose. The professionalism. And the amazing power of confident women who are aware of the singular beauty of their own bodies – and the effect they can have upon others.”
Claudia, Naomi and Cindy were not in this show, sadly, but he translated their spirit into clinging black catsuits, lampshade-shaped mini skirts, fur mini skirts (handy for those cold of bottom), strict corsets, sheer lace and ruffled all in ones (in pretty pastel pinks, mint green and soft greys) and tassel and pearl laden cocktail dresses. It was, he went on, “a celebration of the natural beauty, shape and strength of every woman.”
Backstage after the show, the Balmainia continued: Mr West appeared giddy, dancing and posturing, his hood still up, but his joie de vivre charmingly on show, as he held court, explaining that the collection had actually been inspired by his wife, Kim Kardashian. Her mother, Kris Jenner, flew by, blowing kisses and telling Rousteing how proud she was of him. Rousteing, by this point hot, and tired, and in need of a moment, took the air outside while his acolytes continued to expel his vision into a thousand selfies and soundbites.