Celine gets refined as Balmain celebrates diversity in Paris

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A model wears a creation for the Balmain fashion collection during Women's fashion week Fall/Winter 2020/21 presented in Paris, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

PARIS – Usher unleashed a photographer's battle at Balmain on Friday, as he appeared at Paris Fashion Week alongside towering model Cindy Bruna. The designer, Olivier Rousteing said of the typically glamazon-filled fashion collection, that it was a celebration of his personal journey. Celine, meanwhile, served up a subtle homage to the 1970's. Here are some highlights of ready-to-wear shows for fall-winter 2020.

BALMAIN CELEBRATES DIVERSITY AND TRADITIONS

An orphan from posh Bordeaux, where doors were closed to him because of his race, Rousteing said he explored how those same doors suddenly flung open when he became a top designer in Paris.

“I learned from an early age that certain classes, clubs and cliques were closed off to someone who looked like me,” he said.

“Many of the codes of a world that was once beyond my reach are key parts of this collection... (that) adapts those symbols of upper-class exclusion and twists them."

In that vein, in the display, he delivered a street-cred makeover to traditional styles — such as silk scarf patterns, classic equestrian looks and the signature harlequin crisscross patterns — ones executed in cognacs and intense blues on rich fabrics such as jersey.

The bourgeois harlequin motif adorned billowing African-style capes, and equestrian leather waders looked like stripper boots.

Rousteing's passion was evident in the pure exuberance. The show opening included a dozen models in exactly the same look — a chic double-breasted wool coat with the house DNA of six gold buttons. It evoked the mood of an urban gang.