As if the life and times of Balmain's creative director, Olivier Rousteing, couldn't get any more glam, the designer's latest creations add even more flair to the #BalmainArmy. The French fashion house is lending its aesthetic to a set of costumes for the Paris Opera ballet, set to hit the stage come June. Dancer and choreographer Sébastien Bertaud asked Rousteing to create four costumes for "Resistance," one piece of a four-part ballet by up-and-coming choreographers next month. And, as one could expect from such a duo, the looks are très Parisien.
According to WWD, the designer has been a lifelong fan of the ballet, and even took some classes as a kid. "To be honest, I was really surprised and moved because, for me, this goes beyond designing clothes for the opera. This project really represents French heritage,” Rousteing told the publication. “Obviously I love the world of pop, but for me, it all goes back to classical dance. I’ve been fascinated with it since I was a child.”
For Bertaud, the Bordeaux-born Rousteing is the only designer around who has mastered the art of innovation and tradition. And for the designer, the collection represents a new era for Balmain. "It’s a really nice validation of my style and a way of showing you can remain international even while being very Parisian," Rousteing said. That style, by the way, translates to black military-style coats, blazers, and intricate embroidery and weaving techniques, which are recognizable on and off the runway. Rousteing is just 31 years old, and has been helming Balmain since 2011.
Both were inspired by the period of Louis XIV, with Bertaud giving Rousteing free rein to interpret his choreography and the performance's music, Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto No. 2". The aim of Bertaud's ballet and Rousteing's designs is to reach a new generation, and open up the traditional world of dance and the forward-thinking clothes of Balmain to new audiences. The choreographer translated Rousteing's drawings and embroidery patterns into into dance movements, arranging dancers to in configurations that resemble human chains: "It’s a dialogue between costume, music and dance,” Bertaud told WWD.
Rousteing drew on his experiences dressing singers — notably Beyoncé — to help him design clothes that could move. Because, well, of course. "When you dress someone like Beyoncé, you have to understand every dance move she makes during every minute of her show. And when you learn how to work with Sébastien and the principal dancers, it’s more or less the same process but you learn different movements." Rousteing told WWD.
So, if you're planning a trip to Paris and fancy yourself a night of Balmain in motion, try to plan your visit between June 13th and 18th, when the costumes take flight at the Palais Garnier. And, if a Parisian jaunt isn't in the cards, head over to WWD to see Rousteing's exclusive sketches for the show, in addition to Balmain's luxurious Instagram to see Bertaud in action.