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DESIGNER WATCH: Olivier Rousteing

While Olivier Rousteing breathes new life into Balmain for Spring 2012, fashionistas are left with anticipation as to what inspiring new wears he has in store for next Paris Fashion week.

Words: Tai Lotson

The house of Balmain hasn’t been the same since Olivier Rousteing replaced Christophe Decarnin as the fashion brand’s chief designer. To everyone’s delight, the 26-year old debuted his first collection last fall on the runways of Paris, but can this young designer rock out again? Well, if his Spring 2012 collection is an indicator of what’s to come, then Rousteing is definitely on to something.

A little bit Country and a little bit of Rock’N’Roll, Rousteing’s flavorful jumpstart is eye-catching to say the least. Having been inspired by the work of Nudie Cohn, the man who designed performance jumpsuits for Country and Western stars of the ’60s, Rousteing infused additional elements— “something a bit Mexican, bullfighter’s costumes and wallpaper from Vegas”, he says, to create super-accented garments for the 60-something-year old brand, that promised not to disappoint. And they didn’t; Rousteing effortlessly excelled at the challenge that could have easily gone wrong and appeared borderline tacky if he didn’t execute it right.

While he continued to toe the line of Rock’N’Roll edginess that Balmain is most noted for, Rousteing’s vision is fresh. His craftsmanship and attention to detail, is impeccable, and simply cannot be denied. His use of gorgeous embroidery, textures to die for, metallic and crystal accents, chunky buckles and of course, denim, leather and fringe do well throughout the collection, which feels as authentic as they come.

Want to feel like a Rock icon? Want to mix it up and let your fearless alter ego out? Then adorn yourself in Olivier Rousteing’s decadent Spring 2012 designs for Balmain. You will be the most fashion forward at every event.

Follow Olivier Rousteing on Twitter, @OlivierBalmain

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