Balmain has launched an haute couture collaboration with Beyoncé. The French luxury house said it is the first collaboration with and exclusively for a Balmain muse.
Creative director Olivier Rousteing found inspiration in the singer’s Renaissance album, together creating 16 designs, one for each track. It is the first haute couture collection where a Black woman had full creative license. Mr Olivier Rousteing is also the first Black man to lead all collections at a luxury house.
With looks unveiled in the April issue of French Vogue, Mr Rousteing said Renaissance is more than an album, “it’s freedom, strength, love and a battle for a better future,” as well as sharing the arts of music and fashion together.
With initial sketches and a concept, Mr Rousteing approached Beyoncé’s head stylist, Marni Senofonte. It took five months for the team to edit, design and craft the collection, with the atelier moving to Los Angeles in January to finish the final fittings.
In a statement Balmain said the collection plays with Balmain house signatures, classic Parisian savoir-faire and a wide range of unexpected materials and techniques to translate Renaissance’s joy and genius into a couture collection that makes clear that something powerful can result when music and fashion are combined into one unified whole.
One of the looks, a 'fireworks' dress, in black velvet embroidered with pink feathers, is a testament to craftsmanship. Mr Rousteing said the artisans at Maison Fevrier, the last feather atelier in the world, were ‘pushed hard’ to do something that they had never done before, despite their history of creating the most astounding plumage for Paris’ spectacles de cabaret and haute couture collections.