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  1. Suzy Menkes
  2. Suzy Menkes

Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Balmain: Supermodels, super curves, super relevant

Olivier Rousteing amps up the sex appeal without apology

13 Марта 2016

Balmain, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Backstage at Balmain was a paradise (or do I mean a parody?) of fashion in the digital age. There was Kanye West, “invisible” under his hoodie, except that he was wearing a white jersey Balmain jacket, smothered in embroidered pearls.

After he had hugged designer Olivier Rousteing, he passed the Creative Director over to his mother-in-law Kris Jenner, who was already reeling off what she wanted to wear from this parade of hourglass dresses. Then there was English blonde beauty Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who was hidden behind a coal-black wig, talking to her model friend Karlie Kloss, while Korean-American social media star Irene Kim stood out among bloggers galore.

The show that Olivier sent out was, he said, inspired by a photoshoot with supermodels of the past — Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell. The three, looking super sexy 20 years after their iconic era, were posing on the front of the invitation card. But what about the clothes? The big change to the sexy Balmain look was that it had become smaller, tighter and prettier. As if from a box of chalk, pale pink and blue dominated the runway of the ornate hall, while corseted waists brought a rounded silhouette.


Balmain, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Balmain, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Sometimes a cascade of frills would run down the side of an all-in-one catsuit. Elsewhere, the kind of crochet that granny would never make left tassels skirting arms, hips and thighs. The softer touch with silhouettes and fabrics made Rousteing’s in-your-face sexuality seem more girly. The mini crinies recalled for me Vivienne Westwood's crinolines from way back when. Balmain sexuality is quite definitely for women in control of their lives.

Balmain, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Perhaps only a designer like Rousteing, aged just 30, could show a collection so deliberately sexual, yet make the audience feel that there is nothing abnormal about fitting into a bell-shaped dress in weaves of green emerging from under flouncy, ruffled suede. The effect is clothes that look, to anyone outside the industry, like a fashion dream of glamour.

To call these silhouettes, these young women, these hourglass body looks “Instagram friendly” is an understatement. Rousteing has 2.5 million followers. And counting…

Balmain, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

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