Balmain FW23 campaign

Olivier Rousteing takes us to the Balmain archives for the Men’s FW23 campaign

Olivier Rousteing takes us to the Balmain archives for the Men’s FW23 campaign

by Juliette Eleuterio
2 min

Balmain never misses, and its Men’s FW23 campaign is no exception. Its long standing Creative director Olivier Rousteing took a paradoxical approach for this one: “blurring lines to sharpen our focus,” he states.

Sharp, precise and playing on colours, this season’s menswear campaign is founded on four key principles that honour the house’s heritage, bridging the gap between Pierre Balmain’s ethos and Olivier Rousteing’s aesthetics.

The first pillar is for the archive fashion devotees. Rousteing dives into Balmain’s archive before even starting to sketch a new collection or planning a campaign shoot. This season had a particular focus on some of Balmain’s very first men’s collections marked by a ‘60s air – think sharp, tailored suits worn by jazz artists highlighting the symbiotic relationship between fashion and music.

“A resurrected style must be adapted to the present” is one of Pierre Balmain’s many words of wisdom and a direction Rounsteing lives by. It’s one thing to look at past looks for inspiration but translating into a modern language of style is another. This is something that is clearly echoed in this campaign’s clothing, merging the past with the present in the shape of, for example, a tailored coat with exaggerated dimensions styled with futuristic sunglasses.

Balmain, the man, wasn’t just a designer but also a graphic artist. One of his graphic works includes a “PB” motif created in the early ‘80s. The passageways of the Versailles and the Loire Valley châteaux, specifically the repeating marble squares laid on the ground, inspired this motif which was picked back up by Rousteing for this collection.

The last (but definitely not least) pillar is all about flawless construction. Ginette Spanier, the first Director of the house, once said “If a seam is not quite right, that is a matter of life and death.” That is the level of obsession to precision that goes into creating a Balmain piece. It’s all about “precise, impeccable Parisian tailoring,” which Rousteing has emulated in this collection and highlighted in the campaign.

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