It is the third consecutive Safari and Adventurer collection we have seen, but the era of Balmain’s menswear has never been so superseded by something more. The first ever menswear runway show by the Parisian house not only mark’s a new milestone in its history, the collection itself differs to be somewhat different, combining the best attributes from its pedigree – most notable the Balmain Fall Winter 2014 Glamazon Boys and Balmain Spring Summer 2013 Military Safari menswear collections. The Balmain Spring Summer 2016 menswear collection can perhaps be best described as an innovated approach in practical luxury at ease, but of course there will always be those extravagant pieces one could only dream about.
The good old Balmain trademark treatment given to its latest menswear collection could only mean one thing, bolder looks, significant details, larger embroidery, distinctive embellishments and a lot more choice for the mortal with deep pockets to experiment. Despite it’s luxurious attitude and signature aesthetics it’s quite an understated collection, you can arguably wear most of the collection around town and not cause a single battled eyelid. Well of course if you opt for the right pieces, especially those that are heritage towards the classic biker or skewed towards the safari wearer, such as the cargo utility trousers and jackets to name a few. Isn’t that the best attribute of wearing Balmain? Understated elegance, only those who recognize the little details will be able to find genuine appreciation.
At the label’s showroom on 44 Rue Francois 1er, there were, admittedly, articulated clothing on racks sorted based on characteristics. At one end, there are the adventurer’s light linens in khaki and whites derived from the Safari concept, while the other side showcases the vigorous animal prints perhaps more suitable for a flamboyant celebrity, leading it towards powerful runway quilted leather, embroidered and embellished variants. But what we would like to see here are the pieces that were not featured in the runway, many thanks to global buyers we are able to have a prior glimpse on a small selection of commercialized pieces concealed from the public eye. These photographs are extremely difficult to source season by season, it seems as though Balmain is trying to retain buyers and guest from exposing them before the collection officially hits the stores worldwide from March 2016 onwards.
My favorite piece below has to be the Balmain Black & Khaki Union Jack Distressed Knit Sweater, also available in the traditional Navy & Red, which made a huge distinction on the runway show including various highlights on press. Although it was featured earlier, observing one on a hanger while privately modeled in the showroom gives off a real feeling to the quality and clothing interpretation that could be related to a daily wearer. Another piece that I am aiming to acquire is the Balmain Embellished Lapel Wool Cropped Jacket; you can see it hanging by the racks behind one of the models wearing the Balmain White Draped Sleeveless Cotton T-Shirt in the below image. There is just so much affection to it that I find it difficult to describe it in words, to me it is the perfect Balmain jacket from this season, and regardless of your point of view, it is truly a stunning piece and a worthy successor to Balmain Satin-Lapel Wool Cropped Jacket from Balmain Spring Summer 2012 menswear.
Besides the above, there are some tremendously brilliant details in the collection, take for example the Balmain Brown Latticed Embroidered Jacket. It is a single piece constructed from thorough embroidery handwork, one could only guess how complicated it is to produce this particular jacket, especially when the designer will have to make at least two common sizes (48, 50) throughout its production. These are literally works of art; imagine owning the latticed embroidered jacket or the rich golden embellished blazers from the collection? They may become just the thing fashion historians will reference in years to come. For men’s ready to wear, it’s the closest thing to couture. Personally, this isn’t your proper safari wear; it is your daily weapon.
BALMAIN BLACK UTILITY-POCKET HOODED SLEEVELESS VEST
61.J820.B139 — $1,368 (approx.)
Balmain Homme Spring Summer 2016 Collection
BALMAIN BLACK DOUBLE LAYERED SUSPENDER STRAPS SHORTS
61.T513.D374 — $1,198 (approx.)
BALMAIN BLACK LACE-UP OPEN-TOE GLADIATOR LEATHER SANDALS
61.T996.BA31M — $2,235 (approx.)
Balmain Homme Spring Summer 2016 Collection