Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing left a letter on the seats that expressed his thought process for this collection. “One of the most fascinating things about designing is the – for lack of a better word – “therapeutic value” of what we create. Clothing changes self-perceptions – after all, isn’t that the whole point of this industry?” The collection stood at a cross-roads of cultural influences and the desert exploration embodied a metaphor for creation.
At the end of the road, the created object was a cathartic symbol. The mindset he referenced in his note was understanding and the quest for experiences, rather than martial valor. Consequently, proportions leaned less towards the tightly wound and more towards the ease of the wanderer. Waists relaxed, crotches dropped slightly. A short-sleeved, shorts-length trompe-l’oeil safari suit parlayed its way to the forefront. The contemplative mood was best embodied in the draped jersey, crossing fluidly down the front of tops and even a jumpsuit. Like other designers, he gave nobility, and even a veneer of strength, to everyday items, like sweatpants. On jackets, lions and Phoenixes were emblazoned, an affirmation of inner strength.
Balmain Menswear Spring Summer 2016 Fashion Show