In a season that feels markedly upbeat and energetic, if there was a fashion house that would be splashing the sequins for spring and pushing that party attitude for summer, it had to be Olivier Rousteing at Balmain. A collection that spoke both of memory, nostalgia and dreams, in true Rousteing style, every element of the show was worthy of its own Instagram moment.
Presenting something of a story in the location alone, the Opera Garnier setting was poignant for the designer, who, as a 10-year-old had had his first glimpse of the ballet there. Taking this nostalgia and running with it, the show opened with Natalia Vodianova in patent overalls, then Natasha Poly in a perspex Balmain graphic print, followed by Kasia Struss and later Karolina Kurkova – a '00s answer to the '90s Versace homage at Milan Fashion Week.
A storied collection with many elements – some more unexpected than others – from an amped-up take on Breton stripes played out in sequins, patent, feathers and chain to macramé mesh elements, dazzling assortments of crystals, studs and fringing, and mesmerising full-sequined suits, sheer net dresses and layered ruffles, not to mention house classics such as the iconic Balmain blazer updated with texture and metallic elements, for the Balmain designer and his army, this was a collection that forged new memories.