Balmain: A Fashion Breakthrough
I love Balmain.
I love Balmain because the look is sexy. It's edgy. It's boldstrongconfident and all the other things I love about being a woman. If I had to choose one haute couture brand that describes me it would be Balmain. Olivier is know for his attention to detail and for extravagant embellishments. Leather and fur are two of my favorite things, especially when worn together, and that's what this collection encompasses.
What I admired about the Fall 2014 collection is that Olivier gives us sexy, but it's presented in a new way: covered up. I loved this because the older I get (I know I'm only 21) the more I'm comfortable with covering up. I no longer feel the need to wear the $8.25 bodycon dress from Forever21 every time I want to "dress up". My favorite items in this collection were the leather combat/track pants. My latest obsession is wearing mens clothing and adding my own feminine touch to the outfit. Olivier is KING of masculinity meets femininity.
I think what I love the most about Balmain is the fact that the Creative Director, Olivier Rousteing a bi-racial, Black man, at age 28 is breaking down fashion barriers one by one.
There has been countless blogs and news articles catered to raising awareness about the lack of diversity in the fashion industry, especially on the runway. Personally, I'm glad people are beginning to talk. But after watching the show I was left wondering why isn't anyone praising the diversity that does exist? I want Bethann Hardison to praise this Black man (if you don't know who she is please look her and the Diversity Coalition up) for what he has done, for what he is doing.
Every type of woman was represented by Balmain. The runway was graced by top models Cindy Bruna, Jourdan Dunn, Malaika Firth, Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls and Rosie Huntington-Whitely. Some not so familiar but equally stunning faces were Sharam Diniz, Cora Emmanuel, Riley Montana, Senait Gidey, Chiharu Okunugi, and Binx Walton (please go look up these women. GORG).
I saw a rainbow of women and was ecstatic (I counted 11 women of color)! This show was progressive and the prime example of what the industry should be like. When statistics show that the buying power of Blacks is expected to reach $1.7 trillion by 2017 it's shocking that there aren't more black women, more women of color PERIOD on the runway.
It's my hope that people do not just fall in love with the military inspired jackets, the peplum tops, and all the leather. I hope that people discuss all the various forms of diversity this fashion house, this brand, and this Creative Director bring to the fashion industry.
Olivier, thank you for representing myself and other women of color on the runway. And for all you casting directors, designers, and others who help with the process of shows and campaigns. Follow suite and take note.
P.S. Olivier, if you ever need a stand in model just holla.