Balmain Fall 2012 Review

Balmain Fall 2012

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Balmain Fall 2012 runway.

SHOW: Balmain (See the full collection.)

HAIR: Sam McKnight

MAKE-UP: Tom Pecheux

ACCESSORIES: Fligree gold belts, high ankle boots in stamped velvet with a cuban heel

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: Fabergé is fabulous--and terribly Balmain

A Fabergé egg owned by the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor--the extravagant meeting the even-more-extravagant. What could be more Balmain than that?

Olivier Rousteing may only be two seasons into his tenure at Balmain but he's got the house style down pat. The exciting thing now is to see him taking it somewhere new.

For Fall 2012 we had the signature Balmain body-hugging dresses abbreviated somewhere around the upper thigh, but we also had those clinging to mid-calf, the better a foil for showing off the house's dazzling embroidery skills. We even had sweatshirts, crusted with that fab Fabergé needlework and about the length of a Balmain micro-mini, but worn with slouchy velvet trousers, probably the closest a Balmain woman will ever come to track-pants. They were reiterated throughout the show, in a slouched suit webbed with seed pearls and with a new jacket shape, shoulders broad but boxy and loose rather than skintight and pointing skyward. They felt street, not Star Wars.

How much of the street Rousteing's Balmain will see remains hazy. The focus was still on frocks exposed to open air only during the hurried dash from limousine to nightclub (and even then a few grand of sable will probably shield it) but it felt like he was proposing something new for the house, even if it's still those taut little dresses that will really fly from the racks.