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Olivier Rousteing celebrated his 10th anniversary at luxury fashion house Balmain in style last night during Paris Fashion Week.
It was a star-studded celebration, starting with pop icon Beyoncé explaining in a voice-over during the show: "I am incredibly happy to salute you on this special occasion in Paris."
For Rousteing's 10-year anniversary collection, the designer created everything from crystallised corsets to military-inspired jackets, as well as Coachella-inspired costumes for Beyoncé herself.
In 2019, the 36-year-old debuted his first couture collection, making him one of the very few Black designers on the Paris schedule. But though the show was breathtaking, his latest spectacle — a "Balmain Festival" featuring music and model at the Seine Musicale concert hall — may have been even more impactful.
It opened with a very personal two-page letter to friends of Balmain. Rousteing wrote that his new collection is about "recovery and renewal," noting, "a year ago, I suffered some painful burns in an accident. Hospital rooms, bandages, and gauze wraps suddenly became a big part of my life — and, as I began sketching, I found myself translating those months of doctors and physical therapy into today’s many bands, weaves, and dangling straps." He also included puffy accessories and quilted leather, built as if to bubble-wrap the wearer from harm — whether physical, emotional, or even cultural. "Over the next 10 years, I pledge to continue to push for more inclusion, more democracy and more openness," Rousteing said. "Here’s to the next decade of sharing our joy-filled signature mix of fashion and music with more and more of those who wish to enter into the Balmain universe."
The runway opened with Naomi Campbell in a bronze embroidered gown that shimmered under the lights. Nineties icons Milla Jovovich, Karen Elson, Natalia Vodianova and Carla Bruni walked the catwalk too, along with millennial bombshells Imaan Hammam and Soo-Joo Park, plus current catwalk favourites like Adut Akech and Precious Lee. The fashion event ended with Sia's "Unstoppable" playing as Rousteing and his #BalmainArmy took a bow.
The celebrations didn't stop there, as rap sensation Doja Cat sang "Say So" in embroidered hot pants and Marilyn-inspired blonde curls. Jesse Jo Stark also performed during the show, where she paired her own thigh-high Nancy Sinatra boots with a Balmain optical illusion dress.
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