The talk of the town is of course, Balmain at H&M Sandton City, so here's what to look out for when gracing them with your presence, such as those who attended the official launch a couple of weeks back, did.
(Remember this: http://www.neofundi.com/profiles/blogs/h-m-the-grand-opening )
Rich Details and Powerful Silhouettes for Women:
Balmain's womenswear collection for H&M is rich in detail and craftsmanship, encapsulating the themes and signatures that have made Balmain one of the most important luxury brands of the 21st century. Creative director Olivier Rousteing has brought his passion for design to every piece in the collection, which includes elaborate dresses, sharp tailoring and everyday pieces with attitude. Intricate embroidery and powerful silhouettes run throughout, together with Parisian flair and always a sense of effortlessness. The collection is available in selected stores worldwide (including SA) as well as online, from 5 November 2015.
Tailoring defines the Balmain silhouette, like the fitted velvet blazer with powerful shoulder pads, or a longer double-breasted blazer, its gold buttons imprinted with Balmain insignia. A leather biker jacket has a neat shape, gold detailing and dominant shoulders, while short bodycon dresses are quintessential Balmain, like a long-sleeved deep-V neck dress that’s covered all over in green sequins.
Satin and velvet bring French femininity, such as a dark green silk satin blouse with a baroque jacquard that overlaps at the front to fasten at the shoulder, or silk satin high-waisted harem pants with full volume at the thigh before tightening at the calf. Meanwhile devoré velvet is used for a long-sleeved turtleneck mini-dress, or wide-leg low-waisted pants that are like flared pyjamas.
Graphic elements are essential, whether it be the black and white wide vertical stripes on an oversized silk shirt and stretch jeans, or the graphic red and black panels of a fitted knit dress. Rope detailing and metallic thread bring grandeur to pieces such as a velvet dress covered in patterns of rope, or a black velvet dress decorated with eagles in metallic thread, with rhinestone and pearl embellishment surrounded with borders of gold rope.
An all-over beaded mini-dress is among the most highly realised ever for an H&M collaboration, fitted tight to the body with a heavy gold zip at the back. An embroidered black velvet blazer – as worn by Kendall Jenner at the Billboard Awards – shows the nonchalant side of Balmain, long enough to also be worn as a dress.
Accessories are as important as the clothes, especially the high-waisted belts that have become a Balmain essential. Rope sandals and thigh-high boots add glamour, while rope necklaces, drop earrings and crystal-embellished pochettes finish the look.
“This is for the new H&M Balmain Nation, a complete collection that can be worn by different women on different continents, all part of the same world. I wanted to stay true to the DNA of Balmain, richly detailed, powerful and yet effortless,” says Olivier Rousteing, creative director.
Effortless Style and Rich Craftsmanship for Men:
The menswear collection by Balmain for H&M has all the effortless style that has made Balmain one of the most important luxury labels in menswear today.
A cropped black velvet jacket is embroidered all over with a rich pattern of black rope and black metallic thread, creating a piece that’s highly realised and full of the Balmain DNA. Leather jackets are decorated with hand-embroidered patches, with lions, eagles and anchors in gold thread at the cuff and chest.
The new tailored silhouette:
Tailoring is crucial, such as the white cropped jacket with black trim that Olivier wore to the Billboard Awards to announce the collaboration, or the wool blazer with hand-embroidered patches on the sleeves. A velvet blazer has elegance and flair, perfect for contrasting with a slouchy pair of leather jogging pants, or biker jeans with pin-tuck detailing in black or white.
Outerwear is particularly strong, with a strictly tailored khaki wool double-breasted coat with an imposing collar, or a neat pea coat with padded quilting on the inside. Meanwhile leather jackets with two-way zips are a new wardrobe staple, in either washed out black leather or red and black.
A sportswear feeling runs throughout, from a black hoodie with quilted leather over the shoulders, to knitted track pants with a dropped crotch and vertical stripes running down the outside leg. Every piece has attitude, especially the essentials such as the ribbed jersey long-sleeved T-shirt, the off-white linen long-sleeved jersey with buttoned placket, or the black wool cargo pants with the all-important dropped crotch.
The range of footwear encapsulates the breadth of the collection, from silver-toed black boots, to a chunky boot and some hi-top sneakers. Black-on-black backpacks are perfect for the city streets, along with belts, a black knit beanie and shades.
“This Balmain collection for H&M is everything I love about menswear. It is sharp, rich in detail and full of effortless attitude. It’s for all of the men in the H&M Balmain Nation, no matter who they are or where they are from,” says Olivier Rousteing, creative director of Balmain.
*Balmain at H&M Sandton City
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