Opulent with '80s references — that might be the best way to sum up the cool-girl brand of glamour at Balenciaga's Fall '13 show. It wasn't the first time we've seen references to '80s-girl glitz from Olivier Rousteing, who gave us similar luxe last season in bold shoulders, crop tops, and Beetlejuice stripes. This lineup zeroed in on that same silhouette — oversize shoulders and tiny, tiny waists made even more obvious by wide leather and metallic belts to cinch every look. Proportional play was half the wow factor; the rest was achieved with high-wattage fabrics — metallics, leather, and embellished, quilted pieces in shades of emerald, flashes of gold, purple, and hot pink, a full range of jewel tones. Spots of cozy texture on sweaters and jackets offered a welcome contrast to parachute pants and sharp shoulders — but it takes a confident beauty, like Joan Smalls, to pull off the Dynasty-era drama (big earrings and all!) with modern edge.
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