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Fashion Fashion Flashback: Pierre Balmain

Fashion Flashback: Pierre Balmain

Fashion Flashback: Pierre Balmain
By Dorynna Untivero
February 23, 2017

It might be surprising to some that Balmain initially became iconic with its “Jolie Madame” look which was the house’s adaptation (or version) of Christian Dior’s New Look: soft, feminine, and classic. Today, Balmain has found a resurgence in its worldwide popularity through Creative Director Olivier Rousteing and his millennial approach towards re-branding the iconic fashion house.

Much like Dior, Balenciaga, and Chanel, Balmain proceeded to challenge himself during and after the war in Paris. He kept to understated, and ladylike silhouettes while creating more feminine looks – a far cry from today’s Balmain-trotting “army”  [1]. In our fourth instalment of our on-going series called #FashionFlashback, we give tribute to the man behind the name and how Balmain Fashion has evolved. 

 1914

Pierre Balmain is born in St. Jean de Maurienne in the Savoire region in France.

1930s

Balmain enrols in architecture school, mostly to appease his mother [2]. However, he kept busy on the side designing clothing.

1945

Balmain launches his first collection. His look called “Jolie Madame” became widely famous.

Brigitte Bardot in La Mariée est trop belle directed by Pierre Gaspard-Huit, Dress by Pierre Balmain, 1956 | photo from theredlist.com
Brigitte Bardot in La Mariée est trop belle directed by Pierre Gaspard-Huit, Dress by Pierre Balmain, 1956 | photo from theredlist.com

1950s

Bamain’s creation gain popularity worldwide as he dresses the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, and Marlene Dietrich.

 1959

Pierre Balmainn Dress

photo from theredlist.com 
photo from theredlist.com 

1965

Balmain designs uniforms for Trans World Airlines. 

1982

Pierre Balmain dies of liver cancer in Paris. 

1993

Oscar De la Renta becomes director and continues to create detailed and classic silhouettes.

photo from www.popsugar.com
photo from www.popsugar.com

2010

Christophe Decarnin now Creative Director launches a collections inspired by the 1970’s disco-inspired collection utilizing bright colours, padded shoulders, and substantial 

 2011

Olivier Roustieng becomes Creative Director.  

2015

Balmain release a collection with affordable pret-a-porter retailer H&M which was well-received despite its expensive price point. Several items from this release have been sold quadruple its original price on website auctions. [3]

Balmain partners with musician Kanye West for a fall campaign which features it-models and Kim Kardashian
Balmain partners with musician Kanye West for a fall campaign which features it-models and Kim Kardashian

2017 

Balmain has become a trendy name in the world of fashion, seamlessly mixing millennial trends [4] with a history in luxury craft and artistry. Although far from the original vision and look created by Pierre Balmain, the house is an example of how “revolution” [5] was needed in order to thrive.

 
References:

[1] The Balmain House, Heritage." The Balmain House, Heritage. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2017. 

[2] Samotin, Perrie. "Who’s Who in Olivier Rousteing’s Fierce Balmain Army." StyleCaster. N.p., 20 May 2015. Web. 23 Feb. 2017. 

[3] "H&M Life I Balmain X H&M I Designer Collaboration 2015." H&M Life I Balmain X H&M I Designer Collaboration 2015 | H&M GB. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

[4] Givhan, Robin. "At Balmain Those Aren’t Clothes on the Runway, They’re a Social Media Moment." The Washington Post. WP Company, 02 Oct. 2015. Web. 23 Feb. 2017. 

[5] Chrisman-Campbell, Kimberly. "Balmain: The Reinvention of a Fashion House." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 12 Nov. 2015. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

Tags

Fashion Fashion Flashback pierre balmain Balmain #FashionFlashbacks

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