DUBAI: Saudi model Amira Al-Zuhair on Wednesday opened the Balmain show during Paris Fashion Week.
The rising star, who was born in Paris to a French mother and Saudi father, wore a white polka dot jumpsuit with colorful three-dimensional flower designs around the chest.
The London-raised model took to Instagram to share pictures and videos of the show. “Started off PFW with @balmain, thank you @olivier_rousteing @bitton @twodadstwokids for having me,” she wrote, thanking the brand’s team.
When Gertrude Stein, a close confidant of house founder Pierre Balmain, penned “a rose is a rose is a rose,” she likely never envisaged its metamorphosis into a Paris runway’s guiding theme. Yet, designer Olivier Rousteing, embracing this iconic friendship, orchestrated a floral ode for Balmain’s Spring 2024 show.
Rousteing channeled the essence of Balmain’s couture from the late 1940s and early 1950s, celebrating Balmain’s architectural wizardry. With every fold, cut and stitch, he echoed the legacy of the maison, fused with his own brazen touch. Sprinklings of the petit pois (polka dot), a staple from Monsieur Balmain’s era, added whimsy amid the blossoming rose narrative.
The runway flourished with sheeny sheaths, bejeweled appliques, and rose-pink boleros. The rose, in its myriad avatars — crafted from materials as eclectic as latex, porcelain, and recycled plastic— took center stage, a fragrant nod to Pierre’s couture designs.
Vibrant shades played alongside strict monotones, Parisian precision met flowing contours, and age-old couture traditions fused with contemporary touches.
In his show notes, Rousteing reflected, “Love is complex—every rose, after all, comes with its thorns.” This sentiment materialized across the collection, from thorn-touched accessories to edgy eyewear.
The recently concluded Balmain Paris fashion show was marked by challenges as a van transporting 50 outfits destined for the runway was hijacked days prior to the event. The robbery took place between one of Paris’ main airports and Balmain’s headquarters, adding to the tension of the showcase.
In a note distributed after the show, Rousteing detailed the unexpected setback, stating, “The recent robbery of 50 of our pieces was definitely not the type of news that my team and I were hoping to hear in the days leading up to this presentation.”
He went on to acknowledge the fashion industry’s unpredictable nature, emphasizing the need to handle unexpected challenges.
Rousteing extended gratitude to the Balmain team for rallying together. “You were exhausted already, but you found the strength needed to help ensure that a robbery would not affect our runway,” he mentioned.