Talking about his ‘most personal’ FW14 collection for Balmain, Olivier Rousteing has explained how he has changed the aesthetic of power dressing for the modern warrior woman.
Inspired by the strong personalities of the likes of Rihanna and close friend Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, the 28-year-old designer told Porter magazine that the new fashion armour is more about the attitude with which it is worn than sartorial clichés like “big shoulders” and a “black and gold” palette.
“All the girls I dress are very different but they have confidence and attitude in common. Be proud of yourself. You can look ridiculous in Balmain statement pieces, just as you would in a minimal label, if you don’t feel confident wearing them. I like girls to treat my clothes like pyjamas, not only in terms of comfort, but also when you wear them, you feel in control of your domain,” he said.
Speaking of his muses, Olivier added, “There was a quote I read on Instagram recently, which I think is pretty cool. It said, ‘Queens make Kings’, and I do think that without girls like Rihanna and Rosie, I wouldn’t be here. They are the women who inspire me and they are why I do what I do. I think I’m attracted to them and them to me – it’s a real connection and friendship.”
With his office walls covered in images of strong women wearing Balmain designs, including Claudia Schiffer and Karlie Kloss, the fashion house’s creative director explains that his mother’s strength has encouraged him to champion powerful females.
“All the women in my life had huge power: My mum has been really sick for a long time, but she is really strong. She has taught me how to deal with difficult situations,” he said, adding, “My mum knew at 17 that she couldn’t have babies because of cancer; so she fought to adopt me at 24, and she showed me how women can deal with anything. I’m really proud of my mum, and my grandmother, and all of those women.”
To read the whole interview, get Porters Fall 2014 issue, out now.
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