Paris Menswear SS16: Balmain

Showcasing his first men’s wear collection for Balmain, Olivier Rousteing decorated the Parisian runway with a variety of safari-inspired looks; encapsulating the essence of British explorers.

Like many SS16 designers, Rousteing decided to blend the barriers of gender specific clothing and incorporated female models into the show. The juxtaposition of masculine and feminine styles ranged from heavy suits to short tailored dresses, both of which contained an array of detailing. Woven and lace-up designs were brought in to create natural pattern, symbolising Africa’s cultural heritage.

Layers of khaki and olive green built up a traditional colour palette, while materials such as suede and leather added to the safari vibe. The collection mostly consisted of browns and nudes, but hints of red and blue in the Union Jack flag broke up neutral tones. Towards the end of the show garments became military based as Rousteing opted for all black looks with metallic detailing and silver studs.

Balmain has provided a unique show that represents both the masculine and feminine side of safari. The exotic choice of combining both African and British culture has worked well for the designer, and is hopefully the start of many more exquisite menswear collections.







by Emma Walsh

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