Was climate change the inspiration behind Balmain’s 23 couture line or did they execute the environmental and earthy look perfectly? This collection was very idiosyncratic for its time which featured straw-made dresses and tons of fur. Pieces of art made their way down the runway before the utmost objet d’art: Cher who made her debut at the finale of the Balmain show.
The Balmain Spring/Summer '23 show was composed of a variety of elegant designs that were so divergent that it could've been an ensemble of mini collections in one line. Oddly, the orchestra of these designs flowed consistently with Balmain's theme and complemented each look that came down this remarkable and miraculous runway.
Long agendas and hypnotic shows made invited guests leave early once Ashley Graham arrived on the runway which was over an hour and a half past promised start time. Nonetheless, the audience erupted in applause when Graham stepped out onto the stage, debuting a blazer corset dress with aberrant platforms that laced up to her ankles.
Other looks in this line were abstract compositions of playful and riveting forms of haute couture. The use of accessories was a big one in this show, using hats, bags, and clunky shoes as their statement pieces. Each design was carefully assembled to make an impressionable response from the invited guests.
Although Cher was advertised in their pre-show video modeling a bag, it was a surprise that she showed up to this year’s Balmain line. She walked the runway with Olivier Rousteing, the creative director at Balmain, at the end of the show to close this year’s season. Cher wore a custom Balmain jumpsuit, the same one she wore in the video, that dominated the catwalk in true Cher-form. Most editors and invited guests left before Cher’s appearance because of the long duration of this show.
In order to execute this collection creatively, at the end of the show there was a selection of ready-to-wear pieces that were extravagant. The models were sustained in learning how to walk in extremely tight and elaborate clothing for this portion of the show.
These designs in particular stood out to entirety of the show because of its exquisite arrangement and its captivating work. One by one, each model walked effortlessly in an angelic manner to deliver the ready-to-wear couture to the audience.
Rousteing delivered his collection to 7,000 guests on an open-air runway at Paris Fashion Week which featured a wide and lengthy platform with a dramatic backdrop. It almost felt as though the Balmain show was set at a theater or concert from the way guests were seated or standing. Balmain never fails to disappoint but this show in particular made me want more.
What made this show extra dazzling was not the only the appearance of Cher but also Rousteing's use of sustainable materials. Although, he couldn't confirm that this show was entirely composed of sustainable materials, it is a step toward that which brings awareness to the fast fashion issue in the industry. He used fabrics made of paper, banana, and wicker according to Vogue to the greatest extent.
Terrestrial and metallic textiles were used in a combination to show the futuristic side of environmental-inspired clothing and what is in store for our climate crisis. Hopefully this will bring more attention to how we produce clothing in the future and where fashion inspiration can root from.