What’s the quickest method to get conscripted into the #BalmainArmy? A swipe of lipstick in brilliant violet, gold-flecked peach, or poison-apple purple. Subsequent month, Balmain’s artistic director Olivier Rousteing—the boyish, social-savvy designer perpetually within the middle of a mannequin maelstrom—debuts his first-ever capsule assortment of lipsticks with L’Oréal Paris. 12 shades. 12 muses. 14 bucks a tube.
“The world that I’m constructing round Balmain, it’s actually pop,” the French designer explains in a cellphone name from Mykonos, the place drone movies of infinity swimming pools and swimsuit-clad associates have stoked a Grecian fervor amongst his 4.6 million followers. (As his Instagram bio proclaims, “THIS IS MY REALITY!”) A collaboration with L’Oréal—one other storied Parisian model, however one decidedly extra accessible—matches proper in with Rousteing’s mission to offer his hungry younger viewers with entry to the bejeweled splendor of the style home’s runways. “With the make-up,” he explains, “it’s a method to invite them to have a bit of Balmain.”
It’s additionally an opportunity for the designer to increase his imaginative and prescient of all-out glamour to a product that has come to embody confidence and stylish. “To me, creating lipstick is like creating garments,” Rousteing says, reflecting on the transformative energy of a selected coloration. “It may be an armor, it may be a communication software, it may be an invite.” The gathering’s dozen shades provide no scarcity of expressive potential, with every one impressed by—and named after—a mannequin in Rousteing’s orbit. “Lara [Stone], along with her unbelievable blonde hair and her perspective as effectively, has to have a purple lip as a result of she is the femme fatale,” he explains of the Dutch magnificence. The Seoul-born Soo Joo Park, with a rocker edge that comes along with her signature shock of platinum, performs out as a gem-like violet. Ysaunny Brito, the up-and-coming Dominican, will get an sudden shade of safari inexperienced. “She, to me, is my Amazon, the woman that’s going to combat and [be] sturdy and highly effective,” Rousteing says.
That adventurous palette—created to swimsuit “each sort of [skin] coloration and continent and tradition,” from the South Sudanese Grace Bol (a deep sapphire) to Brazil’s Luma Grothe (mushroom taupe)—is each a championing of range and a name for fearlessness. After a quiet, toned-down streak in vogue and sweetness, Rousteing explains, “Now we notice that we’d like a second of flamboyance and maximalism, and to take dangers.” That maximalist mandate carries by means of to the packaging: a decadent riff on valuable supplies, akin to emerald-green malachite, blue lapis lazuli, and onyx. “If Balmain goes to do lipstick, we’ve to make it essentially the most beautiful potential,” Rousteing says of the tube’s spirit of timelessness. As for the boldest method to put on a Balmain assertion lip? With one of many custom-made jewellike necklaces, slated to reach later this fall. A twist on his talismanic Fall 2017 runway equipment, the design encompasses a lipstick pendant embellished with a gold tassel—all the higher for a reapplying at a second’s discover. The selfies await.
The L’Oréal Paris x Balmain Paris capsule lipstick assortment launches September 20 at Barneys, barneys.com, and lorealparisusa.com.