Mar 27, 2023
Adopting an original approach that fuses fashion with music, Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing has teamed up with pop and R&B queen Beyoncé to create haute couture, a collection inspired by her latest album, Renaissance, comprising 16 unique items, each corresponding to a track from the album.
In a statement, Rousteing said he was deeply moved when Renaissance was released last July. Beyoncé had not dropped a solo album for six years. Her powerful new work, blending house, electro and funk, obsessed him, until he began to sketch outfits inspired by the album and by Beyoncé, with whom he had already worked on several occasions, mindful of her preferences in terms of colours, cuts, fabrics and accessories.
Once he had developed the initial sketches, Rousteing picked up his phone and suggested to Beyoncé they could collaborate on something that went beyond some red-carpet outfits. “This time, I wasn’t just asking her to be my muse. Instead, I was really hoping that she would be willing to embark on something completely new: a genuine, authentic collaboration between two creators, both obsessed with pushing their art to the next level. I wanted us to be co-designers,” said Rousteing, who asked Beyoncé “to assume the role of partner in designing our Renaissance Couture collection.”
“Starting in September, Beyoncé, her stylist Marni Senofonte, my creative team at Balmain and myself joined forces for five months,” he said. After hundreds of WhatsApp, Zoom and email conversations, the first models were finally designed. Then, at the end of January, Rousteing and his team flew to Los Angeles to work full time for 10 days with Beyoncé and Senofonte on all the finishing details, additions, fittings, pictures and modifications.
The result is a stunning collection, at once glamorous and futuristic, alternating dark, ultra-elegant outfits with more outrageous sculptural looks featuring precious details such as feathers, metal accents, lurex and crystals, like the last look, inspired by the album’s ‘Summer Renaissance’ track, entirely made from silver thread and pearls.
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