Balmain boat Couture show displays a post-lockdown way to hold a fashion show

Posted on 6 July 2020
By Millie Lockhart
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Balmain marked Fashion Week yesterday holding an haute couture fashion show, sending a boat, nicknamed Balmain Sur Seine, down the River Seine.

The French fashion house, which celebrated the opening of Paris’ digital fashion week – and the easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, launched a barge down the River Seine in Paris covered in couture from 75 years of Balmain.

Olivier Rousteing, Balmain Creative Director recently said: ‘Balmain is all about optimism, and after this period I wanted to bring back this optimism that this brand has been known for’.

Social distancing was enforced on the boat and all 21 models onboard the river barge maintained a two-metre distance from each other. All rails backstage where the Balmain couture was kept were also kept socially distant.

The new format of the show, which would normally be by invitation only, enabled the public to watch the show from the riverbank as the Balmain Sur Seine sailed by.

The river barge was also joined by musical guests as the boat sailed down the River Seine towards Notre-Dame cathedral.

In April, Founder and CEO of the Business of Fashion, Imran Amed, said: ‘Coronavirus has led to a real existential crisis of the fashion industry. ‘This is an ndustry which is still almost entirely dependent on physical retail. More than 80% of transactions in the fashion industry still happen in physical stores.

‘Added to that, many consumers simply aren’t interested in buying clothes right now. There’s so much focus on purchasing essential items to survive during the lockdown and I think everyone’s mindset has been focused on that’.

Vogue Business reported, that the Parisian fashion house was bought for an estimated €460 million in June 2016, the valuation was around four times the company’s estimated annual sales.

Although Balmain may have a greater number of resources than other brands, the fashion house has been able to create a spectacle of a fashion show and uphold French government guidelines.

Balmain’s show may be setting the new post-lockdown template, of how fashion shows can thrive in a Coronavirus world.