Dispatches from Paris: Five things to know about Balmain

Master of the Insta-universe...

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1. THE VENUE

As usual, we were in the InterContinental Le Grand Hotel Paris. Specifically, its opulent ballroom, which is beyond decadent, coated in gilt and boasting the most extravagant crystal chandelier. A perfect setting, then, for what was to come.

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2. THE VIPs:

The front row included Jada Pinkett Smith (wearing a macramé mini skirt from the collection), Kris Jenner, Diplo and Joe Jonas. Eclectic.

3. The MODEL ARMY:

Nobody rakes in the supers like Olivier Rousteing, king of the selfie, master of the Insta-universe. The Brazilian model, Caroline Ribeiro, opened the show in second-skin safari suede. Doutzen Kroes closed it in an electric-white body-wrap jacket and waterfall-ruffle trousers. In between, Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls, Alessandra Ambrosio, Isabeli Fontana, Lily Donaldson. And, of course, Insta-queens Kendall, Gigi, Bella…

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4. ARMY ON SAFARI UNIFORM:

Sculpted versus soft, short v long, tight v fluid, crystal v macramé. Contrast was the order of the day. But everything was belted (or corseted), and top halves remained skintight, with plunging laced necklines, Lycra criss-cross bandages or chiselled leather blousons. From the waist down, there were the usual laminated-to-the-skin leggings, chainmail and open trellis pencil skirts, but Rousteing’s bid to lighten and soften up came in the form of multiple gentle ruffles cascading down legs.

5. THE DRESSES:

They were quite something – entirely spun from crystal or crafted from fine macramé string (get to know this fabric, you'll be seeing a lot of it next spring), further embellished by mighty chandelier earrings and metal collars. They summed up the statement-making collection to a T.

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