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Balmain Spring 2017 - Runway Review

In an about face of sorts, Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing shed the armor of his previous collections in favor of a melting pot assortment of evening drama that is his brand’s penchant. It was also the young designer’s most covered-up collection to date.

In an autumnal-like venue replete with thousands of branches and leaves affixed to the arches and walls, the models ventured out not like soldiers but, rather, like a forest of fine-feathered birds. There was a Masai-like aesthetic to the show, what with their cinched waists, revealing cutouts and voluminous proportions in everything from shawls and bell pants to skirts and gowns that screamed for Alexis Carrington a la Dynasty.

It was at once stylish and bold, between one look in bright purple, shown with a provocative split pant and shoulder sash, and a petrol blue one-shouldered bodice with sporty, sensual cut outs. Knitwear also was a dominate feature of the show, be it chunky or flimsy or sparkly-clingy. There was plenty of transparency to be had, but noticeably less hardware and tassels—and the metal mesh and crystals synonymous with the brand was saved for the finale gowns. Sure, the relaxed sensuality and softness opened the brand up to a wider audience—but only to a degree.