Call it a lockdown baby. Olivier Rousteing and his team designed Balmain ’s resort collection 2021 during the coronavirus pandemic. Swapping images on WhatsApp and drafting in suppliers worldwide to get it made.
“The embroideries were done by old ladies working in their kitchen in the south of Italy. In Japan, they were working in their living room. It was tough,” said the designer, who tried on the men’s prototypes in his Paris apartment. “The fabrics — that was a struggle because I was choosing by Zoom.”
In all, Balmain produced more than 400 looks for women and 300 for men, presented since June 15 in a digital showroom with an avatar of Rousteing acting as host and guide. Still, the designer can’t wait to bring the collection into the real world.
Last week he took his team to a château in Normandy to shoot the look book. And in July, he plans to showcase the outfits with a public event in Paris, along the lines of the music festival he organized during Paris Men’s Week a year ago.
“We need to bring some joy, because right now the fashion world is kind of sad. Everybody is worried about the future, but instead of being worried, instead of words, put some action,” Rousteing exhorted.
He brought the same upbeat approach to his collection, which was steeped in Nineties references that also happen to make for great lockdown viewing: “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman.”
“It’s a colorful and happy collection,” Rousteing said. Think blazers with linebacker shoulders paired with cycling shorts or faded jeans, and topped with a black beret plucked straight off Alicia Silverstone’s Cher in “Clueless.”
So, See all the looks from Balmain Resort 2021 Collection in the gallery below