Balmain SS19 Stans Michael Jackson

Balmain SS19 Stans Michael Jackson

Olivier Rousteing's ecstatic, unsubtle collection was full of King of Pop references.

Olivier Rousteing's ecstatic, unsubtle collection was full of King of Pop references.

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

Since becoming the creative director at Balmain in 2011, Olivier Rousteing has regularly raided the proverbial closet of Michael Jackson. But at the Balmain SS19 Men’s and Women’s show on Sunday, Rousteing, a die-hard fan of the late King of Pop, turned up the volume on his Jackson references. From the Balmain logo remixed in the Bad album font to a brigade of leather loafers and white socks, the show was chock-full of direct Jacksonian homages.    

There were, naturally, truckloads of sequins, from the embellished military jackets to supersized sweaters—a leitmotif that Balmain and Jackson have shared since before Rousteing’s tenure. But the collection also included some of Jackson’s deeper cuts, from varsity tops á la Thriller to a highly graphic sweatshirt that seemed to channel the Dangerous album art.

It’s no wonder Rousteing and Jackson are kindred spirits; Rousteing, with his cadre of celebrity devotees, and as the first person of color to lead an established French fashion brand, has arguably done for French fashion what Jackson did for American culture: usher in an era of hyper-popularity mixed with inclusivity.

Watch the entire collection below.

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