Balmain Cruise 2012
images via Vogue
Ah, Balmain... Balmain! Will you EVER let me down? As usual, this entire collection is rock chic perfection, but in a beautifully softer way entirely appropriate for a resort line. The mix of mostly androgynous or outright masculine pieces with minidresses and one of the mildest color palettes I've ever seen from them (pale pink! gold brocade! baby blue!) manages to be both on-trend and entirely indicative of the spirit of the brand.
Newly appointed head designer Olivier Rousteing stuck to classic lines and shapes but clearly had a lot of fun with bold, funky prints, which have gone an entirely different direction than the hardcore razzle-dazzle looks actresses like Kristen Stewart have been making so popular. He also excelled at the relaxed fit of the garments, which are either tailored within an inch of their lives or gently fall across the bodies of the models in what can only be a nod to Pierre Balmain himself. That juxtaposition of hard and soft in many looks is nothing short of striking.
The taste level is so luxurious that it almost reminds me of Versace, but the distinctly punk rock twist of skintight jeans and zippered leather and suede jackets (who needs a leather jacket on vacation?) is nothing but Balmain.