Barely a matte surface in the house, for Autumn/Winter 2018, Olivier Rousteing at Balmain had the future in mind, and an ultra-glossy one at that, presenting a dazzling collection of every type of holographic, shimmering, light-reflecting, intergalactic texture imaginable. With his own Balmain Snapchat filter available at the show, the collection proceeded as if straight out of augmented reality, while the runway was a deep pile carpet, as if to absorb some of the impact of the technicolour tones and incandescent auras radiating from the super-upbeat and, frankly, fun line-up.
A statement, perhaps, on looking back to house archives for inspiration, this was Rousteing's feet firmly facing forward, with head-to-toe holographic suiting and fringed dresses, neon bouclé and metallic tailoring prepped to storm the runway. Giant disk sequin-embellished tops were paired with iridescent Perspex trousers, smaller sequins adorned trench coats, there were lashings of crystal mesh and glistening cellophane, plus prismatic-quilted foil trousers and sharp-shoulder jackets. Making way for a palette of pure neons – colour-splashed and set off against black on dresses and suiting – it was, at times, a little Cyberpunk for the new generation. Calming into glossy PVC and studded blacks, and morphing into holographic Breton stripes and more silver-wear, for the Balmain Army final exit, it was an all-out 'beam-me-up' moment, with each look totally worthy of its place at all tomorrow's parties.