When I think of Versace, Donatella invariably enters my head. We all know Donatella loves a tan that moves way past the stage of blending in. Blending in is clearly not her forte, but in bag design that’s actually a strength. After all, you want your consumers to perk up at something wow. Versace tries to woo us with their ideas of wow : 80’s articulations of excess blingy-ness, opulent glam and ornate details. Unfortunately, most of the times it always falls short.
Balmain in some ways reminds me of Versace: they both don’t put a lot of resources into their bags from the looks of it. Under Olivier Rousteing, bags are more modern, but still give off a feeling of contrived excess (though Balmain does this more with a sense of superiority). The Balmain emblem becomes too much of a focal point, which I can’t help but think looks like a religious seal for a cult. Weirdly though, when Balmain marries it with the 80’s – the thunderbolt seen on so many rock album covers of the day and in comics like Flash Gordon- it’s a fun change from the spartan colours the brand typically uses and moves away from Balmain’s recent obsession with the military. It really needed to stop taking itself seriously and here we have just that. And what do you, dear readers, think of the new Balmain bags?