History has a habit of paying tribute to Christian Dior and unfortunately tends to forget one of his equally talented friends: Pierre Balmain. A visionary and daring couturier responsible for an iconic style of structured and ultra-feminine creations, the designer made his debut with New Look's creator at Lucien Lelong before founding his eponymous label in 1945. Right from the early years, Pierre Balmain showed signs of taking a contrary approach to practical fashion than that of the time. He designed a collection with clean cuts, intended to help liberate women while enhancing their figures. Fitted waists, long skirts, luxurious embroidery... the appealing and sophisticated Jolie Madame style hit just the right spot in post-war France. Quickly, his designs took over Hollywood and actresses, from Marlene Dietrich to Sophia Loren, swore by his strapless dresses and full skirts. Following his death in 1982, the brand saw a succession of renowned designers, from Oscar de la Renta to Christophe Decarnin, who also signed the brand's revival in the early 2000s. For almost ten years, it's Olivier Rousteing who has been blowing a breath of contemporary fresh air into the label by reinventing its iconic figure-hugging style and decorative detailing. Although he originally intended to study law, the Bordeaux designer radically changed course and entered ESMOD. After a year, he headed for Italy where he trained at Roberto Cavalli and quickly climbed the ladder. He oversaw the ready-to-wear collections and left the Italian design house five years later. In 2011, aged just 25, he took over from Christophe Decarnin and continued the label's transformation initiated by his predecessor, presenting a rock 'n' roll style, laced with the opulence of his first collections. His signature pieces: mini dresses embroidered with pearls, jackets with oversized shoulders and designs punctuated by a Coin, the brand's golden medallion insignia. Backed by the Balmain Army—made up of Rihanna, Kanye West and the superb Cindy Bruna and Cara Delevingne, among others—the King of Couture has continued his ascent by offering pieces with clever constructions, made from the most luxurious fabrics. A bold DNA that's further enriched by the Spring-Summer 2020 collection, focusing on more fluid fashion. Composed of pleated skirts and tops adorned with geometric patterns and graphic print inserts, this range is available in an ultra-chic white and black palette. > View more
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