Olivier Rousteing conjured up a Louis the XIV-meets-rocker vibe for Balmain's Fall 2012. It's Balmain's signature cool-girl appeal done up in rich Baroque-era references — brocade and pearl embellishments cover nearly everything, slim pants and maxi skirts feel infinitely more luxe in velvet fabrications, and pretty floral-embroidered details feel almost like oil paintings. When we're not taken with the decadent craftsmanship, we're looking to slick silhouettes that counter the 17th-century feel with the rocker-inspired edge. But there's less leather here than you think — only a few slim leather pants and body-con leather tops; the rest is done up in velvet, and even moto-style quilted vests are finished in the same plush fabrications. The real star of this show is ornate embellishment married with Balmain's sharp silhouettes. This is where Rousteing crafts his cool — a kind of nod to the classics, an homage to elegance with a definitively modern point of view.
- Trends: Brocade, pearl embellishment, slits, velvet, leather, metallic, military-style jackets, baroque references.
- Colors: Black, peach, white, blue, mint green, silver, gold.
- Key Piece: If we had to pick favorites it would be the moto-style vests and embellished minis.
- Accessories: Lace-up ankle boots.
- Who Would Wear It: Kristen Stewart or Emmanuelle Alt could carry these looks effortlessly.