To the uninitiated, Balmain must seem like the brashest, most tasteless brandishing of ones financial status on ones sleeve. And taken out of context a pale pink leather trouser suit upholstered with pearls and seen on anyone other than a perfectly formed model prowling down a catwalk to Depeche Modes Master and Servant - it is.
But to the fashion veteran, Rousteing had taken Balmain into unchartered territory. It was hardly predictable to see Karlie Kloss prancing out in a plain cream (albeit gazillion-ply cashmere) sweater casually tucked into a pair of velvet crystal-encrusted trousers, or a box-shaped black tuxedo jacket bearing no more than six gold buttons and worn with skinny black trousers, or the final outfit a shirt worn loose over slightly flared trousers, both in lush green velvet devore.
Considering his collection had been inspired by a recent exhibition at Christies in New York, All the jewellery, the pearls, the Faberge eggs, as he put it, this was positively restrained.
That said, it wouldnt be Balmain without Balmains ostentatious bad girl. The sexy predator made a handful of appearances, such as in a white and mint leather mini dress with gold-laced seams that might have been a tribute to the late Gianni Versace. Or a skirt suit with its matching square shouldered jacket and mini skirt in quilted nude leather, decorated with crystals, pearls, gold chains and cameos of brightly coloured floral tapestries. Youve got to admire the way she throws a finger at the quiet and refined.
And you cant help but admire Rousteing who, in only his second showing for the house, struck a new chord with Balmain woman.