★ BALMAIN ★ Pre Fall 2012
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.