What makes good menswear? Well… many things- the quality of the materials used, the level of tailoring, the appropriateness of the finished garment to the region/ season its being marketed in… the list goes on.
To me, one of the most important considerations is the amount of perceived thought and design that’s gone into a piece that I’m interested in – who wants to pay for something that looks like it was sketched and put together slap-dash in five minutes? Without a doubt, the Balmain SS2015 menswear collection hits on every checkpoint. This, ladies and gents, is GOOD menswear.
For the past several years, Balmain has been the poster house for sexy French design. Loved by celebs and entertainers, the brand is always seen at the hottest places and on the hottest people. Basically, if you’re looking to join the cool kids and get laid, throw on a Balmain jacket. This collection lives up to that reputation and more. Its bold, colorful- and completely wearable. Inspired by high octane 70’s sport icons, Navajo patterns, Hip- Hop culture and the sharpness of military attire, Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing delivered a collection that’s full of rockstar sex appeal and easy playboy swagger.
The detail work on many pieces is something else! The collection’s showstoppers are the beaded jackets and Navajo inspired poncho, all heavily embroidered and finished with woven leather, beads and bone. Each takes over three weeks to make, and utilizes techniques more commonly found in ladies’ couture than menswear. They’re amazing and look like they were made for the stage- I can see the 1975’s Matt Healy rocking in any of them… or John Newman… or 5 Seconds to Mars’ Jared Leto. For those of us who should never sing (me), wear one and let our inner rockstars shine.
The collection is strong in leather and wool, and is tailored to make sharp silhouettes with a definite military feel. I really like the use of differing materials, colors and textures in individual pants and that most presented ‘looks’ can actually be worn in public without making you look like a fool. I also like that most pieces can be mixed and matched easily- the hallmarks of a good, cohesive collection.
Apart from the beaded jackets, I really like the denim jacket with embroidered cuffs, leather red, black and white motorcycle pants, a turquoise blue hoodie, the contrasting black and white pants and hoodie lookbook look, a red, black and white off-center zippered jacket and a black and white chevron patterned sweater. All are in listed order below.
My only criticism is for the boots that can be seen with every look. I’m a shoe man, and to my taste- they’re ugly. Luckily, they’re a minor feature of a collection that’s otherwise, pretty amazing.
Great job Balmain.
Before I go- now that we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Estevan, but everyone calls me Esty… so feel free. I’m an artist and amateur photographer from the Caribbean (Trinidad and Tobago to be exact) who grew up in a fashion crazy family with my sisters, Ana and Jacqueline. Like my sisters, the fashion world deeply interests me and I like researching it- so I hope you’ll find my posts informative and entertaining. Leave me comments and feedback, I appreciate them all!