The house of Balmain is planning a-rockin' party show on a barge along the Seine this Sunday evening to kick off the upcoming extended Paris fashion season.
The fashionable cruise through Paris is scheduled for the evening on July 5, the night before the official Paris haute couture season begins. With the entire French season online this summer, the boat trip will be one of the few live events on the calendar.
Entitled Balmain sur Seine, it is being billed as a “celebration of rediscovery, eternal values and better days ahead.”
Creative director Olivier Rousteing has invited singer Yseult to perform on the bateau before Paris’s famous skyline, allowing thousands to witness the spectacle from the banks of the Seine, which were closed to the public during the pandemic. The Balmain bateau will also feature a dance troupe choreographed by Jean-Charles Jousni, who also organized a memorable performance for Balmain’s menswear show in January. He also invited director Andrew Makadsi, a key cohort of Beyoncé, to develop the cruise concept along the river, inspired in part by the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I hope you will join me in raising a glass to our beloved hometown of Paris, Yseult, Jean-Charles, Andrew, and all the dancers—and, above all, to our optimistic hopes for a better future for all,” said Rousteing, who noted that his boatload of talent will also be seen on TikTok - marking the first time this social media company will livestream a luxury brand event.
The designer stressed that both his latest ideas and historic looks from the archives will be featured in this performance.
“I love that I work for a house that supports me and has joined with me in pushing for inclusion and changes from the very first day that I began working here. And I’ve always found it interesting that my own optimism in a better future is something that echoes the unusual legacy of Pierre Balmain. It was 75 years ago that our founder decided to take a risk during an uncertain time and open his eponymous couture house. What Monsieur Balmain and succeeding Creative Directors produced, decade after decade, was a key ingredient in the post-war renaissance of Parisian fashion. We are happy to present a few of their incredible, timeless designs to you today,” he enthused.
During his 10-year tenure at Balmain, Rousteing has garnered an enviable reputation as one of fashion’s greatest showmen. A year ago, in June 2019, he threw the biggest party of Paris menswear, a magnificent runway show and concert in the Jardin des Plantes with performances by Darren Criss, who played the character Blaine in the hit TV series 'Glee'; and Rag‘n’BoneMan, in a heartfelt set to support Bono’s Red project.
“I think every one of us will forever remember this past spring as being a dark one, marked by strange new fears and mandatory isolation. Even for those lucky enough to only have had to deal with Zoom frustrations and cabin fever, the recent confinement made very clear just how much we had taken for granted until that moment. Forced apart, we suddenly realized that we depended on being together. Locked inside, we longed for the beauty of the outside public spaces of our hometown, Paris. And, faced with the unending reports of unbelievable losses, we came to truly understand the transformative power of solidarity. Today, reunited with friends (while continuing to practice social distancing!), we celebrate our return to Paris, as well as our recent rediscovery of the strengths of those eternal values,” added Rousteing.
“I’ve had the great fortune to be chosen to build upon those foundations. Today, we will also show a bit of the evolution of Balmain over the last decade, concentrating on the tailoring in some of my key dress and jacket designs, with each demonstrating how the 21st-Century Balmain silhouette channels the spirit of past masters,” concluded Rousteing.