Ok, itâ€™s definitely a throw back, no question.Â Prince is the soundtrack, gold, embellishment and bigger than last season shoulders. Bold statements have been made in the previous weeks, and then came Balmain. Completely over the top but deliciously so. Gold embellishments were everywhere: brocade, fringing, sequins and lamÃ©.
This was not holding back, unlike the clean and minimal collections of Prada and Marc Jacobs.Â Christophe Decarnin went with his theme and ran, well, sprinted backwards to the glam rock 70â€™s and Dynasty 80â€™s for the inspiration. Whilst the trousers were long and lean the dresses were the opposite â€“ short and shoulders wide. This was a collection ofÂ â€˜look at meâ€™ eveningwear all soaked in gold. There was a little daywear but sheer pussy bowed shirts were about all, and they were masked under giant purple marabou furs. It all pointed back to the dress.
Alex Fury from Show Studio summarised perfectly:
â€œThat was the whole story - shoulders, suiting, sheath-dresses, all encrusted with decoration - the lily gilded once again. Were these garments inventive? No. Of course not. Even laying to one side their retro antecedents in every eighties issue of French Vogue, these were garments we have seen Balmain proffer again and again, repeated shapes with only the decoration changing (this season it was those rich, figured fabrics, eyelet lacing and a clever way with a marabou cape-coat).â€
Short, sassy, and statement pieces one after the other, this is classicÂ Balmain re worked, only slightly â€“ but a sure success and a well-timed distraction of pure extravagance, even if only for the length of the show and until you walk again outside in the cold air blinking after the glitter and gold.