Balmain Resort 2021: Princess Diana, The Fresh Prince and their Picnic Dynasty

“Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t; but keep on dreamin’ — this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin’.” These are the iconic lines that open the classic RomCom Pretty Woman. Now the full inspiration behind the Balmain Resort 2020 Collection might have been centered around Parisian style, but there were also a lot of cinematic and pop culture references. Olivier Rousting is never afraid to go big or go home when it comes to his collections. He knows how to dig into the Pierre Balmain couture archives meshing it with the extreme sex appeal that Christophe Decarnin infused into the label with all kinds of pop culture references. The Resort 2021 collection definitely brings out references to Princess Diana, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Clueless, Miami Vice, Pretty Woman, the early days of MTV, Dynasty, Beverly Hills 90210 all tied together in a beautiful ode to Pierre Balmain’s signature ‘Jolie Madame’ style.I definitely see Princess Diana strewn throughout this collection. I definitely could have seen her wearing several of the looks from this collection. “And, as you notice the collection’s hats, ruffles, Vichy patterns and polka-dots, you might recall that my last runway, (shown during a pre-lockdown Paris Fashion Week that now seems a lifetime ago), also played with codes like these—the easily recognized symbols of the upper-class,” Rousting said of this collection. “These are the signatures of a rarefied world of old-families, privileges and wealth that I was made to feel were beyond the reach of someone who looked like me, while I was growing up in Bordeaux.” I think that’s why he is so good at bridging the gap in the best way possible of how to mix references from everything from hip-hop to royalty and never come across as if he is appropriating anything. Everything about this collection screams drama and glamour. Including this black and white gingham ruffled crepe mini dress which I definitely think that Janelle Monae has already put on hold. She loves very referential looks and with this collection I feel like there are so many major moments that Janelle, and many other’s could be drawn to. This dress for Janelle styled with a sleek updo, defined eyes, red lips, a black and white letter writing detailed Balmain envelope clutch found in this collection, a pair of black Christian Louboutin ‘Choca’ platform strappy buckled leather sandals, and a glamorous satin and horsehair modern pill box inspired fascinator from Philip Treacy would definitely keep the referential glamour of this look going from the lookbook to the red carpet for Janelle. Overall Olivier stuck to his translation of French style. “France likes to give lessons in fashion,” he said to VOGUE, choosing his words gingerly. “Its aesthetic is very codified, the icons are always the same, and it doesn’t give any space to this new world we are building. We need to be careful about the world we want to live in. I think we should try to understand who the Parisienne is today. We need to open the doors more.” It lead Tina Issac-Goize to finish her review on VOGUE Runway with the words “Change, he hinted, is on the near horizon. No doubt the world will be watching.” While nothing official has been confirmed from any party if you look at recent Balmain collections it would seem that Olivier has been auditioning for the role of creative director for Chanel. The Resort 2020 collection was no different. You saw incredible use of tweed and suiting which are the signatures of the Chanel codes, which to me really help define Parisienne style. The black and and yellow sequin oversized blazer paired with a gold button embellished bandeau top and black high waisted biker shorts immediately made me think of a similar yellow sequin jacket from Karl Lagerfeld’s Spring 1991 RTW collection that Olivier has referenced before. I have a feeling that after the upcoming couture season and an in person event in Paris celebrating this collection that major news about Olivier taking the reigns at Chanel is imminent. The thought both intrigues me extraordinarily and also gives me deep fears. I don’t want to see Olivier continue to do his version of Karl should that be the case.  In a post coming towards the end of next month probably I will put a bunch of the looks from the Resort 2021 Collections into a wish list like I did for the Fall 2020 RTW collections, but that isn’t stopping me from talking about some of my favorite looks in my reviews of collections. The moment I saw this bright yellow square crystal button detailed tiered satin gown I said that Sarah Paulson should be the one to bring it to life. If we have an in person Emmy Awards this year I definitely think that Karla Welch should option this look for Sarah who is highly likely to be nominated for her role in Mrs. America. This gown is MAJOR but I think that Karla’s styling for Lady Paulson would definitely make this look even bigger. A matching bright yellow satin Tyler Ellis ‘Perry’ clutch, a pair of nude gold metallic leather Jimmy Choo ‘Dochas’ crystal trimmed ankle strap sandals, and Irene Neuwirth 18-karat rose gold earrings with rose-cut rainbow moonstone and diamond pave that Sarah actually wore to the 2017 Tony Awards would definitely have made this look come together perfectly.

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