Olivier Rousteing traded Las Vegas for St. Petersburg and Nudie suits for Fabergé eggs. Balmainiacs will recognize some elements of his new pre-fall collection—the Perfecto encrusted with pearls and crystals, the long-sleeve minidress with the famous strong shoulders—but Rousteing is determined to redefine the house codes.

To start, he looked to czarist Russia. There's nothing scruffy about the Imperial Palace, and there's nothing scruffy about the new Balmain look, either. Sure, he showed plenty of jeans, but in place of holes he printed them with wallpaper florals and tea-dyed them for a lived-in look. He's also feeling for oversize, which is not something you could ever ascribe to his predecessor, Christophe Decarnin. Blazers and bombers came in men's proportions, and he showed loose pajama pants in quilted silk or dévoré velvet.

"Comfy" was the word he used at an informal presentation at Balmain's offices. And believe it or not, comfy is connecting with buyers; the showroom looked as busy as ever. It helped that Rousteing keyed in to the bigger picture, re-creating Fabergé eggs as head-to-toe watercolor prints and adding pretty colors like blush pink and deep emerald green to his lineup. But the most important thing is that he hasn't forgotten about the sexy factor—the stretchy dévoré dress is proof of that.