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BALMAIN SPRING SUMMER 2017 MENSWEAR
COMPLETE 80 LOOKS
At Balmain’s second ever menswear runway show after last season’s summer’s dessert safari-explorer collection, the Parisian house renege towards its core values featuring a remix of classic elegance and modern sophistication. The grand venue was gold-lined, rows of glittering chandeliers hung up on high ceilings above an ultra-modern glossy pitch ¬black runway, an archetypal feature to the house of Balmain codes. Creative director Olivier Rousteing showcased a handsome offering of brazenness extravagance of the 19th century startled, it was Napoleonic mission to delivered in a grandeur of what was Rococo met Fabergé, met War and Peace, met Versailles, met Claude Montana, met Dune, and the Highlander, in a dizzying display of resplendence pitched at the aristocracy of fortunes.
This time the collection was by far most extreme in its own kind, Rousteing pushed his signature concept beyond the standard approach and high above limits. The Balmain Fall Winter 2016 menswear featured a high percentage of clothing embellished in Swarovski crystals and gold embroidered that riffed off military wear staples, a powerful form mostly highly desired by Balmain army fanatics. It was certainly audacious, certainly over the top, and overly done, but the collection designed in its very form of luxurious language seems to feeds the brand in high energy and conviction, it almost seem like the entire production was taken from BBC’s War and Peace. The Balmain transition in Fall Winter 2016 has been quiet remarkable, it was a glimpse of fresh air, yet again, unashamed, youthful, and unflappable optimism – a small yet large dedicated collection towards a niche market of consumers who find great appreciation towards this complex phantom approach.
What I desired most out of the sea of sparkles were some of the closing jackets, a midnight blue double breasted velvet jacket dressed in gold embroidered epaulettes, cuffs, and lapel which resembles a core feature dated back towards the earlier Asian infused Balmain Fall Winter 2013 Menswear – it is after all a classic piece in the Balmain norm, a staple prominent piece which every Balmainac wardrobe requires but runs deep in one’s pocket. There were a number of tailcoats, equestrian-style knee-high boots, jackets belted in wide quilted cummerbund held with calfskin leather thronging trimmed with fancy long tassels, drop crotch velvet trousers were best to my liking – a sense of style beyond the standard of fashion but yet future-proofed as these elements were all too similar, it rings a bell that these were first introduced once three years ago, and now it has returned again. STORY CONTINUES BELOW.
BALMAIN FALL WINTER 2016 MENSWEAR
COMPLETE 63 LOOKS
Few sections of the fashion enthusiast community are more prone to such things than Givenchy devotees. It’s Parisian’s punishment for making the world’s greatest menswear – on and off, but mostly on – embarking on his second decade at the House of Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci has continuously tackled big themes with abstract notions in detailing dark obsessions, religion of the soul, freedom or love driven by dramatic expressions, that any significant change to it will also be regarded as a contentious one.
Unleashed in a torrent of new ideas this runway was oddly painted in fondant-pink, lit up in florescent tubes in a confined space and intense lighting yields a diverse and energetic collection, it was freedom. With the Fall Winter 2012 generation of house motto, the cue was enraged Rottweilers; leading towards Pre-Fall 2012 and 2013, were Sharks and double-headed Dobermans; with the Fall Winter 2015, it was those screaming Monkeys. And now, with the Fall Winter 2016, new-fangled Cobras. How dare they? The fact remains though, that whether or not you like the idea of what Tisci has just done in his latest Givenchy collection of its perennially blooming menswear, he is just wild about animals.
Last chance to buy your Givenchy Grey Monkeys Print Cuban-Fit T-Shirt or the heavier substitute Givenchy Black Monkeys Print Columbian-Fit Sweatshirt in SSENSE.
Translating the Cobra element into a line of clothing is a tricky disposition, nevertheless Tisci will always find innovative ways, it appeared in a dozen times as intarsias, traditional prints, embroidery on typical sweaters, and oddly laser cut-out bomber jackets that had a bit of lumpy effect, as if it was made to look aesthetically substantive, exaggeration in its natural order as though it was a part of the wearer – it’s appeal was a head turner, difficult to be dismissed, and yet draws inquisitiveness to the mind.
Riccardo Tisci grew up in Italy dreaming of America, driven by the land of the free was an interpretation of various subcultures the designer extracted from his recent influence. The bejewelled crystal and studded in riveted elements strikes a very stark contrast in the Fall Winter 2016 collection. The Givenchy’s renegade cult gang dressed up in leather and metal-heavy, bodies volumes, and more blistered forms offer a plenty, visual subtlety, and more muscular than ever.
It is somehow much more prepossessing than the recent anticipated Berlin club kids Givenchy Pre-Fall 2016 Menswear collection and at a much greater contentment to be looked at. Tisic created homage cowboys’ coats yokes of jackets, with shiny crystals gleaming, including a patched of leather in copper rivets, simply penny-sized studs. His main canvas was embellishments, pocking surfaces of coats, the groin of trousers, and the plackets of denim jackets. Riveted elements played a great measure, while harmonizing atop a pointed-toe, Cuban-heeled Mexican and cowboy boots.
What we have here are differing routes to the design of equally appealing clothing. Two years ago you’d probably have given this Givenchy Fall Winter 2016 Menswear collection the edge as a simple object of desire, but now – for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on – I wouldn’t. Perhaps the predominant main collections in the past just ages more gracefully.
GIVENCHY FALL WINTER 2016 MENSWEAR
COMPLETE 64 LOOKS
MILAN FASHION WEEK MENS FALL WINTER 2016
FASHION SHOWS & PRESENTATIONS
Source: FineArtAmerica.com: Duomo Di Milano-Schizzo, sketched by Luca Massone
SATURDAY, 16 JANUARY 2016
9:30am – Corneliani / NOWFASHION Live
10:30am – Ermenegildo Zegna / NOWFASHION Live
11:30am – Lucio Vanotti
12:30pm – Costume National / NOWFASHION Live
2:00pm – Dolce & Gabanna / NOWFASHION Live
3:00pm – Marni / NOWFASHION Live
4:00pm – Jil Sander / NOWFASHION Live
5:00pm – Les Hommes / NOWFASHION Live
6:00pm – Neil Barrett / NOWFASHION Live
7:00pm – Pal Zileri / NOWFASHION Live
8:00pm – Versace / NOWFASHION Live
9:00pm – Philipp Plein / NOWFASHION Live
9:00am > 6:00pm – Jimmy Choo
10:00am > 7:00pm – Car Shoe
10:00am > 7:00pm – Church’s
10:00am > 6:00pm – Roberto Botticelli
10:30am > 6:00pm – Brunello Cucinelli
11:30am > 1:30pm – D.A.T.E. for Giuliano Fujiwara
12:00pm > 2:00pm – Ralph Lauren Purple Label
12:30am > 2:30pm – Iceberg
1:00am > 2:00pm – Hogan
2:00am > 6:00pm – Giuseppe Zanotti Design
3:00am > 7:00pm – Stella Jean
4:00am > 6:00pm – Kiton
4:00am > 8:00pm – Luca Larenza
SUNDAY, 17 JANUARY 2016
9:30am – Bottega Veneta / NOWFASHION Live
10:30am – N°21 / NOWFASHION Live
11:30am – John Richmond / NOWFASHION Live
12:30pm – Salvatore Ferragamo / NOWFASHION Live
2:00pm – Calvin Klein Collection / NOWFASHION Live
3:00pm – Vivienne Westwood / NOWFASHION Live
4:00pm – Missoni / NOWFASHION Live
5:00pm – Daks / NOWFASHION Live
6:00pm – Prada / NOWFASHION Live
7:00pm – Moncler Gamme Bleu / NOWFASHION Live
8:00pm – Damir Doma / NOWFASHION Live
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