March 2, 2021

Balmain RTW Spring 2018

Sometimes, fashion disarms. It’s part of the wonder, one reason why those of us who love it so much love it so much. Such moments almost never occur when you run backstage for the editorial soundbite, typically about inspiration — this or that museum exhibit; summers with boho grandma; increasing likely these days, political manifesto. Not so at Balmain on Thursday when, before his Balmain show, Olivier Rousteing disarmed with emotional conversation about his childhood, his fame, his place in fashion, the shallow perceptions of him that he wants to shatter. His spring show, he offered, would be a turning point, “a big celebration, a new era.”
Its cornerstone: Rousteing is serious about being a designer. Yes, he’s a beautiful young Instagram idol. He’s also, he wants us to know, a tireless craftsman. “In 365 days, I maybe work 360,” he said. OK, he takes time in August, but otherwise, he’s at the office where he thinks, worries, obsesses over his craft. At the same time, he knows he’s blessed — by adoptive parents who have loved and encouraged him from the get-go, and because he found a platform for creative expression, which he’s known he needed since he was 10.

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