A soulful soundtrack by Françoise Hardy softly echoed throughout the Grand Palais, introducing a mix of 60’s-inspired classic couture shapes including poufy minis and larger-than-life bows. 385,000 crystals decorated 11 of these luxurious designs with beads, pendants and sew-on stones in shades of fern green and pink silk. Of the most extraordinary, were two crystal transfer dresses, an embroidered plissé skirt, two crystal polka dot frock and a heavenly white tulle dress featuring intricate embellishments. Crystallized shoes, jewelry, brooches, buttons and belt buckles completed each look.
The show’s greatest highlights extended beyond the runway to the front row where a speechless Céline Dion embraced Vauthier during his final bows while dazzling the crowd in a Swarovski crystallized dress from the designer’s Spring/Summer 2018 Haute Couture collection.
After a 16-year hiatus, creative director Olivier Rousteing has put Balmain back on the map at Couture with a Spring/Summer 2019 collection inspired by the historic house’s archives.
Both nostalgic and forward-thinking, the pearlescent range balanced silhouettes from storied looks with futuristic detailing in watercolor hues and striking whites. The collection felt oceanic thanks to lustrous make-up, seashell pleating and glamorous fishnet-inspired separates.
Over a million of Swarovski crystals and crystal pearls – launched in 1966 with a unique crystal core and innovative shimmer coating – bedecked jackets, jumpsuits and denim. Pushing the boundaries were various 21st-century “knits” created by weaving hand-dyed ostrich feathers with Swarovski embellishments.
Rousteing commented: “By pushing myself, my team and our atelier to the very limit to create these aspirational designs, I know that Balmain will be able to learn from these techniques, lessons and innovations. That is the great strength and incredible heritage of couture.”