To see the entire Balmain Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear collection, click here.
Olivier Rousteing has been at Balmain seven years now, and he’s feeling quite grown-up. “When I was younger, I was looking a lot at the heritage and the legacy of the house,” he said backstage after his Fall 2018 show. “I looked at the past a lot, I looked at the heritage of Mssr. Pierre Balmain, but now, after seven years, it’s all about the future, and that’s what this collection was about.” That assertion was applicable on two levels—on the one hand, Rousteing wanted to further develop his own Balmain language, one that moved away from the embellishment and embroidery of the past and instead explored the sexed-up Balmain aesthetic with, as he put it, “different materials and techniques that I haven’t used before,” namely holographic PVC, which, popping up everywhere from Calvin Klein to Maison Margiela, is so in this season (and last season, actually, thanks to Karl Lagerfeld’s plastic-coated Chanel outing). The materials (in addition to plastic, there were metallic leathers and knitwear, neon crystals, sheer tulle, and destroyed denim, the latter of which was sometimes coated in plastic) created a futuristic vibe. It was somewhere between ’60s space age (some plastic looks recalled Courrèges, while a silver ensemble made of paillettes and crystal echoed the work of Paco Rabanne), one part Blade Runner, and one part Mad Max, a film with which Rousteing admits to being “obsessed,” and used for the basis of his Fall 2018 menswear lineup. The ’80s also played a role here, evidenced by big shoulders and the soundtrack—remixed versions of “Tainted Love,” “Died in Your Arms,” and “Take on Me”—had guests dancing in their seats.