If you close your eyes and imagine Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus (aka Venus in a Clamshell) with Venus rising up out of the shell wearing a giant shiny pearl as a skirt, that is pretty much the vision I had as the looks walked the Balmain Spring 2019 Couture runway.

The Birth of Venus wearing Balmain
How much is a pearl worth if it has a naked lady in it?

Fitting that this would be the centerpiece of Olivier Rousteing’s latest collection for Balmain. Valuable, rare, oft-coveted by seekers of the finest. And not just pearl skirts, but oversized bracelets, mini bags, and an asymmetric neckline of mismatched sizes…because we want the allusion of mis-sized boobs. Ok, maybe that one was a one off.

Balmain Spring 2019 Couture Runway Fashion Collection

The collection can only be described as otherworldly in its over-the-top, exaggerated sculptural perspective. Like Lady Gaga over-the-top, and all with an 80’s aesthetic of pastels, graffiti, and pleated fans that reminded me of pepto pink floor lamps my parents had in their great room with stark white oversized couches.

When the 80’s grandeur was pared down, the under-layers were divine, showing the craftwork of what makes Balmain a couture house. Up close, we saw dresses and bustiers encrusted with pearls, glass beading, silver foil, and metallic threading.

I admit I giggled at first sight of one of the looks, as the shiny quilted pieces reminded me of Tide Pods. I. just. can’t. I mean, the artistry is clearly there. But when a couture dress makes you think immediately of nothing other than a household cleaning agent that teenagers once challenged each other to stuff in their mouths…you just lost that “aaaaahhhh” moment.

Balmain Spring 2019 Couture Runway Fashion Collection

Perhaps this wasn’t the best of Rousteing, but he’s still forward thinking, and incredibly creative. There are fabulous pieces here. Pared down, they are covet-worthy and will be swiped up quickly, I imagine.

Photos courtesy of Balmain



  1. A bold collection indeed! The colour palette is an absolute dream, although it’s taking me a little while to warm to the oversized pearl concept. Having said that… I’ll probably adore it in a week from now, haha!

    aglassofice.com x

    • luxelookbook Reply

      Agreed. That’s how I’ve felt about some of Balmain’s looks in the past. And with couture, some of it is just for the show rather than the wear, so we could look at it as art for art’s sake. Thanks Gabrielle!

    • luxelookbook Reply

      Rousteing is such an innovative designer. And I couldn’t stop seeing Tide pods. I hope he doesn’t see this!

  2. How fabulous is this collection! incredibly unique and creative, really enjoyed all the photos xx

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