kendall, gigi and jourdan bring the party at balmain x H&M
After Versace, Alexander Wang and Comme, Balmain's H&M collection had a lot to live up to, and Olivier Rousting's show last night didn't disappoint. Vogue ball dancers opened the huge event on Wall Street before Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls and Lineisy Montero walked the glimmering runway. The show was followed up by a comeback performance by 90s boyband Backstreet Boys. Alek Wek, Zachary Quinto, Rosie-Huntington Whiteley and more all turned out to support Rousteing's line, which hits stores on November 5.
It's a greatest hits collection of Balmain looks for the high street and Rousteing is excited to be taking his clothes to a wider range of people. "I can't wait to see more of my clothes on the street," he said. "I love that the collaboration is bringing an exclusive brand like Balmain to the entire world." The hashtag for the night was #hmbalmaination but the whole thing played more into the brand's pre-existing #balmainarmy tag. Backstage, Olivier told us, "When you wear Balmain, you feel powerful and confident. It's like a warrior with their armor."
Showing just how young Rousteing is to be the Creative Director of a storied French fashion house, he admitted he'd grown up with H&M's designer collaborations, which only started with Karl Lagerfeld's first collection for the retailer in 2004. "I really was an H&M kid, always waiting for the next collaboration. Doing this collaboration reminds me of how I started in fashion, and how I used to go to H&M to buy my clothes and create my own look."
The womenswear was about 80s tailoring, graphic stripes and rich embellishment and comes with plenty of velvet and satin. "I love the diversity of the collection," he said. "It is talking to an entire world without excluding anyone. You can get something super tight, or something super loose, something va-va-voom or something downtown and cool."
The menswear offered new kinds of glamorous blazers, leather joggers, hi-tops and silver toed black boots. The designer said the collection was very personal to him. "It's how I dress, and how I love to see my friends dressing, my icons dressing," he said, going on to tell i-D that his personal favorite was "the white jacket with black trim" that he wore to the Billboard Awards. The collection hits stores worldwide on November 5.