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August 21 2014

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105 posts tagged "Balmain"

Through Cédric’s Eyes: Kayla Scott in Balmain

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Each week, renowned artist and fashion illustrator Cédric Rivrain unveils an exclusive drawing on Style.com. See fashion through his eyes, below.

Kayla Scott in Balmain

Cedric Rivrain Balmain

“Tightly and sensually embraced by golden rings, red leather, and silk ropes.” —Cédric Rivrain

Illustration: Cédric Rivrain

A Pretty Scandal: Revisiting the Fifties at the Palais Galliera

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Fifties dresses

Long before Olivier Saillard arrived to shake things up as director of the Palais Galliera, the fashion museum of the City of Paris had established a tradition of mounting exhibitions around a given decade, such as the twenties or thirties.

With The 50s: Fashion in France, 1947-1957, which opens on July 12, Saillard sought to honor that heritage and also remind the world that the fifties, at least in fashion terms, was a few years ahead of the Gregorian calendar. “It was really that revolutionary bomb of Christian Dior’s New Look in 1947 that brought the decade into the fifties,” Saillard commented during a preview. A decade later, Mr. Dior died suddenly and his young assistant, Yves Saint Laurent, moved to the helm. In between those bookends flourished what was arguably the last golden era of couture. “I like the idea of putting the couture heritage out there, because right now we’re seeing several young designers who are redeveloping it in their own way,” observed Saillard. “It’s also an era that’s joliment scandaleuse [prettily scandalous] as much at the beginning as the end.”

The Galliera’s considerable trove includes a lot of Dior. (Consider for a moment that by the mid-fifties, Dior alone accounted for 49 percent of French fashion’s total exports.) A Bar suit stands sentry at the entrance, followed swiftly by the rose pink Bonbon dress from Dior’s first collection and the asymmetrical peplumed Bernique (Winter ’50-’51), a recent discovery. But Saillard and his team bring to the fore other remarkable, iconic wares, including a 1954 Chanel suit (a look the Americans were quicker than the French to embrace, he noted, precisely because it was made to be worn from morning to cocktail hour). Elsewhere, a 1954 black Balenciaga suit that looks as though it could have stepped off the runway yesterday keeps company with pieces by Carven, Balmain, Fath, Givenchy, Cardin, Schiaparelli, and Saint Laurent, among others. All-but-unknowns get play, too, such as Jean Dessès, Grès, Henry a la Pensée, and Jacques Heim, a star of the time who costumed films such as Falbalas (known in English as Paris Frills).

“There’s a real feeling of destiny about this decade,” observed Saillard. “When you map out the stars, there are so many houses we still talk about. Givenchy, Saint Laurent, and Karl Lagerfeld were taking their first steps in fashion, and it’s also a time when future greats, such as Christian Lacroix and Jean Paul Gaultier, were born. So many names are anchored in that decade in one way or another, it’s very strange.”

The show’s staging resurrects old nuggets from fashion’s lexicon (day suit, day dress, late-afternoon dress, city dress, tea dress, travel coat, etc.), a reminder of how much things have changed. “Today it’s just a dress,” quipped Saillard, rattling off a few numbers that speak volumes, too: There were 106 couture houses in Paris in 1946, a number that had dwindled to thirty-six by 1958.

Given that there are more than a hundred pieces displayed, highlights are too numerous to list here, but they include clever beachwear (a yellow popover by Hermès practically begs for re-edition), accessories, and evening dresses once worn by style icons: the Duchess of Windsor’s Palmyre dress by Dior (1952) is one of the museum’s most precious pieces. Nearby, the 1957 Opium dress from Dior’s last collection (Winter 1957) was donated by Best Dressed legend Jacqueline de Ribes, who will be the subject of her own exhibition at the Met next year.

The 50s: Fashion in France, 1947-1957 runs from July 12 to November 2 at Paris’ Palais Galliera

Photo: Courtesy Photo

EXCLUSIVE: Olivier Rousteing, Along With Jourdan Dunn, Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, and More, Push the New “Balmain Reality” in the Brand’s Fall Ads

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balmain

How does Olivier Rousteing top last season’s Rihanna-fronted Balmain campaign? With not one, but six faces. The brand’s new imagery for Fall, lensed by Mario Sorrenti and art-directed and styled by Katie Grand, features Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish, and Kayla Scott. Sporting Rousteing’s safari-inspired Fall fare, his stars nicely embody the heady, hard-edged sensuality he sent down the catwalk in February.

What made the Love editor in chief and über-stylist a natural choice? “She can break all the rules, and that’s what I really, really love from her,” Rousteing told Style.com of Grand. “It was really a strong decision for me and for Balmain, because we never had a campaign with so many girls and expressing this kind of vision. Katie understood from the beginning, and she translated that with the casting and with the looks that we shot.” The designer’s only quibble about his Brit friend and collaborator? “She has the strongest accent ever! As a French boy, you have a hard time understand[ing] an American, so when you have a strong accent from England, it’s like, sometimes I tell Katie, ‘I’m sorry, I don’t understand.’ Sometimes [she talks] and I’m just quiet an entire minute, she’ll look at me and say, ‘You don’t understand, right?’ And I’m like, ‘No.’”

Balmain

Rousteing was a longtime admirer of Sorrenti, too, noting that he appreciated the photographer’s particular vision of femininity. One need only glance at, say, Sorrenti’s iconic ads for Calvin Klein Obsession or his 2012 Pirelli calendar to grasp the languid sensuality that makes him a logical choice for Balmain. It’s Sorrenti’s talent for the enigmatic, however, that’s most evident here; there’s not much skin from a lensman who’s built his name on nudes. The ads themselves serve as an allegory for Rousteing’s evolving take on sex appeal. “My first show was a lot of leg, a lot of skin, and that was my vision: body-conscious dresses. But my [latest] is all about being covered up from head to toe, and that’s my new vision of sexiness,” Rousteing said. “I still think a girl can be sexy in an oversize khaki jacket or a parka, [or] black tights and a long, midi-cut skirt. I’m growing up at the same time my collections are growing.”

Perhaps most notable, though, are the ads’ message of diversity—one that Rousteing has to some become a de facto poster boy for. “I’m French, I’m black, and I’m proud to be at Balmain, but this is a message of freedom and globalism,” he said backstage in February. Both on his catwalks and in his campaigns, the designer has been active in promoting diversity by casting girls of color and of varied backgrounds. The Fall images boast models from the Dominican Republic, Great Britain, Mexico, and the U.S. As a young designer, Rousteing’s awareness is something that’s come to him with time. “My first collection was all about making clothes, and it was really, really important for me to work on the tailor[ing] and on the clothes, but I realized that day after day and step by step, I’m not only doing clothes,” he offered. “I think fashion is all about a vision that you can give to people; it’s [about] expressing that passion. We need to show how diversity is important.” The new campaign, then, is another step in that vision. As Rousteing himself tells it, “I think it’s showing a new reality—the Balmain reality.”

Photos: Mario Sorrenti for Balmain

Happy Birthday, Dear Outnet: Celebrating Five Years of Designer Deals

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“Coulda, woulda, shoulda.” Thanks to The Outnet, that phrase rarely leaves our lips—when it comes to shopping regrets, at least. The designer discount site operated by Net-a-Porter brings you the best pieces from seasons past, meaning not only can you snag those Alexander Wang shoes you sorely missed out on, but you can get them for a bargain, too. To celebrate its fifth birthday, The Outnet is reissuing some of its top designers’ greatest hits—think Alexander McQueen’s patent bow clutch, J.W. Anderson’s paisley top, and Roland Mouret’s iconic wool dress. It also put together an adorable video, above, debuting exclusively here on Style.com. Chic shoppers like Alexandra Richards, Leigh Lezark, Garance Doré, Leandra Medine (who just filmed her own video series for Style.com), and Harley Viera-Newton discuss their favorite pieces while grooving to our new favorite jam, “Love Letters” by Metronomy. “Balmain for me is the Parisian brand,” Doré insists. As for Viera-Newton, “Oscar de la Renta is the dream” and Jason Wu is for “the confident, strong woman.” If you want to look “adorable,” Lezark suggests Preen by Thornton Bregazzi’s pastel pencil skirt. We’ll take it from the experts. The full collection will be available only at TheOutnet.com starting April 29—killer dance moves not included.

Holiday Is Here Again

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HolidayHere’s to new beginnings. Iconic travel magazine Holiday, whose pages were graced with such bylines as Steinbeck, Kerouac, Didion, and Hemingway before it shuttered in 1977, will relaunch this month. Creative director Franck Durand (who previously lent his keen eye to the likes of Balmain and Isabel Marant) will be heading up the title alongside Marc Beaugé. The publication’s 21st-century debut boasts an Ibizan dispatch from novelist Arthur Dreyfus, photography by Josh Olins (below), and a recherché peek into Inez & Vinoodh’s Manhattan loft. Dubbed “The 69 Issue,” the Fall/Winter 2014 offering, which is currently being celebrated via a window at Colette, draws from the freewheeling sensibilities of 1969. And for those whose tastes for mid-century jet-set glamour aren’t to be sated by print alone, still to come are a café and sister clothing line. Only time will tell, but we’ve got a hunch that where Holiday is concerned, absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder.

Holiday‘s 373rd issue hits newsstands April 5, with exclusive images debuting on Style.com.

Holiday
Holiday 1
Holiday

Photo: Josh Olins, courtesy of Holiday