Balmain’s Resort 2021 collection is an ode to Pierre Balmain’s signature ‘Jolie Madame’ style through a pop-culture perspective.
The collection – which is the brands first sustainable collection – was launched yesterday, along with a statement from Creative Director, Olivier Rousteing.
Viewing the +52 looks from this collection felt a bit weird.
Life is slowly going back to normal, yet it will never been the same in so many ways.
I’ve really missed dressing up and feeling carefree, and these images feel like a dawn of a new day.
As you know I cherish gingham in the spring time. It’s not a print that we associate with Balmain, but it adds a fresh feel alongside the designers favoured black and white looks, and signature heavily embellished pieces.
Bermuda shorts were supposed to be the trend for Spring/Summer 2020, but judging by the seven looks featuring these shorts, it appears that Olivier is pushing the trend forward to 2021.
Until the recent lockdown, I always believed that I needed to be in the studio, working closely with my Balmain team, in order to design a collection. After so many years and so many collections, we have grown very close—and I very much depend on their talents, skills, fresh ideas and honest reactions. So, to suddenly have to figure out a whole new way of working—from kitchen tables and via never-ending Zoom calls… well, it definitely wasn’t easy for me or for them. But in the end, I was amazed and— above all—very proud at what my team and I were able to accomplish.
So, recently, when we all headed out to Normandy to shoot the images of the Cruise Collection—that collection that we had created “together-yet-apart” over countless digital conferences—it was so much more than just a trip outside the city for the day. It marked the end of the strange and difficult period that we had all gone through. And, it allowed us to celebrate the successes that we were able to achieve, despite so many challenges and so many difficulties.
Out there, under blue skies in the lush green countryside, we were not only celebrating being with each other—we were also savoring the rediscovered joy of being able to travel farther than the lockdown’s previous limit of 100 kilometers. To share the beautiful weather and setting with my friends and colleagues made it feel like we had somehow managed to escape work, the city and all our past worries for a special moment —it felt like we were taking part in some sort of picture-perfect celebratory countryside picnic.
The lush green countryside and the aristocratic estate was also the perfect locale to mirror the spirit of Balmain Cruise 2020. Much of the collection looks to the aristo-meets-rebel spirit of the newly single Lady Diana in the ‘90s, as well as the style of another that era’s icons, Julia Roberts, (particularly during her Pretty Woman moment). Of course, those who also remember the unique energy of that ‘90s moment will quickly recognize the bold graphics, pastel tones and strong tailoring that runs through this collection.
And, as you notice the collection’s hats, ruffles, Vichy patterns and polka-dots, you might recall that my last runway, (shown during a pre-lockdown Paris Fashion Week that now seems a lifetime ago), also played with codes like these—the easily recognized symbols of the upper-class, These are the signatures of a rarefied world of old-families, privileges and wealth that I was made to feel were beyond the reach of someone who looked like me, while I was growing up in Bordeaux.
So, today, my team and I continue to joyfully subvert what once were previous generations’ restricting class codes—rethinking, twisting and modernizing them, in order to offer something unexpected, fresh and very much of today—an array of styles and designs that is now open to all—and which reflects the inclusive values of today’s Balmain and the beautiful diversity of a truly modern France.
The entire Balmain family is proud to introduce our first concrete steps toward our long-term goal of creating truly sustainable collections. Our new PS21 women’s capsule collection is made up of a selection of Ecocert-certified organic cotton tees, hoodies and sweats. In addition, great effort has been made to reduce the carbon footprint during the manufacturing and transportation of these styles—they are created at renewable-energy powered European production facilities located close to our global distribution centers. Every element, however small, has been considered: for example, all products rely on 100% compostable corn-starch plastic bags, as well as recycled-polyester labels and hang tags fashioned from recycled string and paper from the Forest Stewardship Council’s sustainably managed forests.
Another eco-responsible offering of women’s sweats, tees, tops and pants, produced in Italy and Portugal, relies on Oekotex-certified organic cotton and plastic bags manufactured from 65% bio- sourced plastic.
We at Balmain believe that these first steps forward, while only a beginning, are important ones for the house. Today’s new reality has not only made us adapt to new ways of working—it is also forcing us to admit that profound changes can no longer be delayed in almost every part of our lives. The months of forced separation seem to have brought us closer than ever before, with many now awakened to a powerful new global and determined sense of solidarity and purpose—the effects of which can be witnessed in the streets throughout the world today. As we progress from an unexpected moment to hopes for progress in long-delayed movements, changes of all kinds—ranging from how we support one another to how we avoid further damaging our environment—are imperative. We look forward to letting you know about further advancements, as this house moves as quickly as possible toward its sustainable goals. We promise transparency and, like you, hope for change.