Cara Delevingne Lends Strong Gaze + Nude Body To Balmain Spring 2019 Campaign

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Top talent and activist Cara Delevingne channels a 1993 Janet Jackson image for Rolling Stone image in French luxury house Balmain’s new Spring 2019 campaign, lensed by Berlin-based photographer Dan Beleiu. ‘Iconic,’ Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing said about Jackson's vintage image, which he shared on Instagram a day before his own 2019 spring campaign release. 

Delevingne poses nude in images deliberately chosen by Rousteing to promote racial reconciliation. “The campaign shows the reunion of two skin tones, one black — or mixed race — and one white." Preaching the authenticity message, Rousteing saied:

“We’re going back to basics: I wanted something pure and transparent”.

Rousteing said Delevingne's look — including her signature thick eyebrows — was even more captivating stripped down and she didn't need to sport any of his clothing.

Cindy Bruna, Pauline Hoarau, Tami Williams Celebrate 'Balmain Army' In Julien Vallon Images For Vogue Arabia

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Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing chills with members of his ‘Balmain Army’ including Cindy Bruna, Pauline Hoarau, and Tami Williams, styled by Katie Trotter and Gemma Bedini. Photographer Julien Vallon is behind the lens for Vogue Arabia September 2018./ Hair by Nabil Harlow; makeup by Gregoris Pyrpylis

CGI Models Margot & Zhi Join Shudu In #Balmain Army; Is It The Beginning of the End for Humanity?

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CGI Models Margot & Zhi Join Shudu In #Balmain Army; Is It The Beginning of the End for Humanity?

Everyone is welcome in Olivier Rousteing's #Balmain Army, a brand committed to diversity. The latest extension of the #Balmain Army includes CGI models (computer generated imagery). Rousteing worked with Cameron-James Wilson, the CGI artist and photographer behind Fenty Beauty's controversial Shudu model. 

Controversy surrounded Shudu when she made her debut in March of 2018. With social media saying the unknown Shudu was just a little too perfect, Wilson explained to the clamoring crowds: ""Basically Shudu is my creation, she’s my art piece that I am working on at the moment. She is not a real model unfortunately, but she represents a lot of the real models of today. There’s a big kind of movement with dark skin models, so she represents them and is inspired by them. Obviously some models like Duckie (Thot) were definitely big inspirations for her as well."

Refinery 29 has followed the story from its inception, writing: "This did not sit well with people, who believe Shudu represents a lot more than one man's digital art project. The news of her non-existence has triggered an online backlash, with people quickly pointing out how problematic it is that she, a Black woman, was created by a white man and "hired" instead of an actual Black model, a demographic that remains underrepresented in the fashion and beauty industries."

We will add that the CGI models now join sex robots as idealized female creations of the male mind. It's an interesting philosophical consideration in the evolution of fashion and female models. 

Shudu now joins two Balmain-exclusive, digital supermodels Margot and Zhi. 

Olivier Rousteing's Balmain Army Marches Into Pre-Fall 2018 With Great Words For New Owners

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Balmain's Creative Director Olivier Rousteing introduced the luxury brand's Pre-Fall 2018 Collection. Digital artist and retoucher Pascal Dangin eyes the go-forward, strong-woman members of Rousteing's Balmain Army: Katrin Zakharova, Yvonne, Valery Kaufman, Aleyna FitzGerald and Katrin Thormann. /Makeup by Phophie Mathias; hair by Yoann Fernandez

“It’s hard for a designer after seven years to feel like there can be a new chapter,” admitted Rousteing, ever youthful (and talking about his new owners Mayhoola for Investments, and new CEO, Massimo Piombini) . “They’re making me feel that there’s a new story to tell.” But all this internal reinforcement wasn’t the only story behind such a dazzlingly Parisian collection. With his take on the French tricolor—that is, blue, silver, and red—the designer was seizing on the positive energy so palpable in the French capital right now. He electrified the motif as zigzag and chevron patterns so that the results registered equal parts patriotic and Ziggy Stardust. Dialed up, this David Bowie via Pierre Balmain vibe played out as fresh velvet versions of his maximalist rock star jackets, which he paired with embellished concert tees, and strass-studded velvet leggings, masculine trousers, or patent jeans. Dialed down, it was present in comparatively wearable Prince of Wales suiting and herringbone cotton tweeds. The heritage aspect was most apparent in the liberal use of a medallion referring to the maison crest created roughly a half-century ago. Consider the emblem an updated way for his Balmain army to signal their continued allegiance. via Vogue

VS Angels Skriver, Tookes, Strijd & Sampaio Sizzle In Oliver Rousteing Balmain-VS Collab

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Victoria's Secret Angels Josephine Skriver, Jasmine Tookes, Romee Strijd and Sara Sampaio deliver major sizzle and wearable design in the lingerie brand's new Balmain collaboration. The hotter-than-Hades, strappy and  zippered bras, panties and long-line bras are available at department store prices online. Is a permanent colab in the making? At these prices, VS will get a good idea of Balmain's Olivier Rousteing potential. 

EYE: Balmain & L'Oreal Paris UNITED WE ARE INVINCIBLE Campaign Brings Fashion Tribes Together

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EYE: Balmain & L'Oreal Paris UNITED WE ARE INVINCIBLE Campaign Brings Fashion Tribes Together

In the age of Trump, the L'Oreal Paris and Balmain collaboration is exactly what we need. Olivier Rousteing's Balmain army stands strong with 12 diverse top models fronting the campaign behind the core message: UNITED, WE ARE INVINCIBLE.

The capsule collection includes 12 couture matte shades by Color Riche in shades ranging from deep plums to sweet pinks. Models Doutzen Kroes, Lara Stone, Cindy Bruna, Ming Xi, Luma Grothe, Neelam Gill, Alexia Graham, Valentina Sampaio, Soo Joo Park, Grace Bol and Maria Borges appear in the advertisements, lensed by Nico Bustos.

The diverse range of models, hailing from all over the world, was an intentional choice to not just show the play of color across various skin tones, but to champion diversity — an especially topical theme in the aftermath of Charlottesville and Barcelona.  

Headlines in today's news include How Germany Deals With Neo-Nazis and a truly-sad one Calais Brawls leave 20 migrants injured. The fighting of 200 migrants threatening each other with sticks and iron bars involved five mass brawls that mainly pitted Afghans against Eritreans.

The real world is knocking on fashion's door.  While we drift above it, the knocking is louder every day, making this Balmain/L'Oreal Paris campaign unusually relevant. For all politically-correct types who might critique it as superficial, I say it's great. 

"No matter your origin, no matter your tribe. Come together, be seen, be heard. United, we are invincible. Because we are all worth it," Balmain's 31-year-old Olivier Rousteing says about the collaboration.