Mirror Mirror on Runway… or what Olivier Rousteing designs for Balmain in 2020

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Mirror Mirror on Runway… or what Olivier Rousteing designs for Balmain in 2020. Balmain Fall-Winter 2020-2021 Paris Fashion Week Ready-to-Wear. Review by Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE.

Olivier Rousteing, creative director of Balmain, started 2d year of his “understanding” of fashion. It is known fact that he didn’t go to the fashion school, and basically has been chosen to become new creative director for many reasons, including his close connection to Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend Kanye West, but not by his talen and creative skills as a designer.

This question was asked by many media personalities and media, and Olivier Rousteing every time tried to prove or improve his skills. So he choose special way – reproduction, or simply copy. Apparently he spent hours in library with his iPhone, taking photos of old Vogue magazines with forgotten looks of great designers like Thierry Mugler, Karl Lagerfeld or Pierre Cardin.

So his first year in fashion started from season and collection for Spring Summer 2019, which had exact copy some Thierry Mugler looks. And it was well noted by Thierry Mugler himself, media, fashion experts, and also by bloggers.

Thierry Mugler posted on his personal instagram:

Balmain Spring Summer 2019 - Thierry Mugler copy
Balmain Spring Summer 2019 – Thierry Mugler copy. Screenshots of Thierry Mugler instagram. Thierry Mugler himself well noted and commented on the copies made by Olivier Rousteing of his designs

Probably we all didn’t understand something. That is basically how Olivier Rousteing started his fashion school of design. Next “inspiration” became Karl Lagerfeld. He showed Balmain Cruise 2020 collection in his style with some Mexican touches and rock-n-roll.

Balmain Cruise 2020 Resort collection
Balmain Cruise 2020 Resort collection
CHANEL Fall-Winter 2000-2001 Ready-to-Wear
CHANEL Fall-Winter 2000-2001 Ready-to-Wear – Karl lagerfeld
Chanel Lookbook Spring Summer 2013 - photo Karl Lagerfeld
Chanel Lookbook Spring Summer 2013 – photo Karl Lagerfeld
Balmain Cruise 2020 Resort collection
Balmain Cruise 2020 Resort collection

Next designer Olivier Rousteing studied and tried to reproduce was Pierre Cardin. Spring Summer 2020 Balmain collection was all in Pierre Cardin style, although no tribute or dedication was mentioned to the press or blogger or anywhere visible on the press-release, instead the press-release announced that the presented designs are unique, which never existed before.

It is indeed is a good compilation of Pierre Cardin innovations with its profusion of optical effects and circular motifs. Although no dedication was indicated in press-release of the collection. Instead Olivier Rousteing stated in his interviews that “I call Balmain the guilty pleasure, because it’s not a brand that follows trends. It creates its own codes, and for me, it’s important to remain true to yourself. Sometimes people like it, and sometimes they don’t, but I always say I’d rather be disliked for who I am than liked for who I’m not.”

Apparently copied looks of Thierry Mugler, or redesigned looks of Karl Lagerfeld and Pierre Cardin were also appropriated by the designer with pretension that these codes were also created by him. It is indeed someone likes copies, and someone doesn’t. 

Who Balmain wants to fool? Kim Kardashian, or his new First “Mum”, who recently adopted him?

Balmain Spring Summer 2020 Ready-to-Wear
Balmain Spring Summer 2020 Ready-to-Wear
Pierre Cardin 1969-1975
Pierre Cardin 1969-1975

This Fall-Winter 2020-2021 took a hit on old looks from 1990s of Hermes fashion house. Although as it is 2d year of Olivier Rousteing, so he reconstructed them very well, and with the caution. He also added some Italian touches, changed a little design of the fabrics and added the embroideries. Crafty! With meaning not related to craftsmanship.

The theme of the collection dedicated to astrological signs and horses of course (Hermes was there), and specifically to Scorpion. And it says it all.

Balmain Fall Winter 2020 -2021 Ready-to-Wear. Photos: Daniele Oberrauch / Armando Grillo
Balmain Fall Winter 2020 -2021 Ready-to-Wear. Photos: Daniele Oberrauch / Armando Grillo
Balmain Fall Winter 2020 -2021 Ready-to-Wear. Photos: Daniele Oberrauch / Armando Grillo
Balmain Fall Winter 2020 -2021 Ready-to-Wear. Photos: Daniele Oberrauch / Armando Grillo
Hermes 1990 -Trophées de Venise
Hermes 1990 -Trophées de Venise
Hermes scarf -CHEVAUX DE TRAIT
Hermes scarf -CHEVAUX DE TRAIT
From left to right - Hermes 1990 silk scarf vs Balmain Fall Winter 2020 -2021
From left to right – Hermes 1990 silk scarf vs Balmain Fall Winter 2020 -2021
From left to right Hermes 1990 -Grand Manege- design by Henri d'Origny vs Balmain menswear Fall Winter 2020 -2021
From left to right Hermes 1990 -Grand Manege- design by Henri d’Origny vs Balmain menswear Fall Winter 2020 -2021

And last but not least – a leather corset with formed breasts – invention of Jean Paul Gaultier for the Spring Summer 2003 Haute Couture season, and of course reproduced in almost exact way by Olivier Rousteing for Fall-Winter 2020-2021.

Balmain Fall Winter 2020 -2021 vs Jean Paul Gaultier Spring Summer 2003 Haute Couture - leather corset
Balmain Fall Winter 2020 -2021 vs Jean Paul Gaultier Spring Summer 2003 Haute Couture – leather corset

The worst is yet to come…. who’s going to be remastered / reproduced by Olivier Rousteing for next season? Who’d be the next great designer, who’s designs he’ll announce as his own? That is the question!