Christophe Decarnin may no longer be at the helm of Balmain, but his essence remained in the first outing from 26-year-old new creative director Olivier Rousteing. Clearly having worked closely with Decarnin for over two years rubbed off, but impressively, the designer managed to infuse notes of his own style. More than just a parade of the brand’s now signature skin-grazing slim trousers, bejeweled fitted jackets, and prominently structured power shoulders, Spring 2012 brought with it a number of unexpected twists. In fact, Rousteing mixed in some pale denim via pants, a blazer, a button-down and more for what resulted in cowboy-meets-rocker looks that surprisingly worked. More surprising yet, there were some loose silhouettes in the mix including leather trousers, slouchy tops, and a denim maxi skirt. Similarly, Rousteing opted to show some high-waisted trousers along with the ultra-low styles most often associated with Balmain.
If there’s any brand that could do casually decadent luxury it would be Balmain, and Rousteing was able to do just that without losing the distinctive “Balmain look.” Nevertheless, speaking of that distinctive look, die-hard devotees need not fear because there were plenty of embossed gold and black leather looks and heavily embellished mini dresses and separates to justify the brand's notoriously exorbitant price points.