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Apparel and accessories

Balmain takes minimalist approach in conceptual campaign

July 30, 2018

Milla Jovovich stars in Balmain's fall/winter 2018 campaign. Image credit: Balmain


French fashion house Balmain is touting its fall/winter 2018 collection in an experimental short film, a stark change of pace for a label known for its elaborate pieces and campaigns.

Instead of relying on a narrative, the campaign uses a minimalistic approach to emphasize the look and texture of Balmain's new pieces. By enlisting actress Milla Jovovich to star in the campaign, Balmain adds a layer of glamour and strength.

Textured sound

The short film was directed by Jake Nava, who has worked with numerous celebrities, including Balmain-favorite Beyoncé. Mr. Nava has also directed advertising campaigns for brands as diverse as Guinness and Italian fashion label Armani.

All attention is on Ms. Jovovich as she enters a sparse space. She wears a futuristic metallic tunic and leather thigh-high boots with lucite heels.

Balmain opted for an experimental approach for its fall/winter 2018 campaign starring Milla Jovovich

Ms. Jovovich slowly enters the room and drags her boots across the concrete ground. She also brushes her hands around and across her tunic, drawing attention to its pleated texture.

She approaches a chair, but rather than sitting in it, Ms. Jovovich leans on it, drags it across the floor, scratches it and more. The only sounds are that of the chair, boots and clothing.

Image credit: Balmain

Ms. Jovovich holds many of the choreographed poses, creating striking images that reflect her strength and power.

The actress' movements also showcase the surprising wearability and movability of Balmain's pieces.

Rousteing's influences

The pared-down approach in the fall/winter 2018 campaign is a departure from Balmain's maximalist spring campaign.

For spring/summer 2018, Balmain’s millennial creative director, Olivier Rousteing, again stepped behind the camera, capturing models as they wore his designs in a natural photo shoot in Paris. While centered on the brand’s young spirit under his direction, Mr. Rousteing chose a 17th century castle as the backdrop, making a link back to Balmain’s heritage (see story).

Last year, Mr. Rousteing shot the brand's fall/winter 2017 ads, giving his perspective on his hometown.

The designer, who is an avid social media user, wanted to bring a similarly personal touch to the campaign by photographing his fashions himself. The resulting effort was an homage to Paris through Mr. Rousteing’s eyes, which may have helped to create a deeper connection with consumers over the collection (see story).

Mr. Rousteing neither filmed nor photographed this campaign, instead serving as the creative director. He is a long-time admirer of the action icon.

"There’s no need to tell me that Milla Jovovich is an incredible actor and a stunningly beautiful woman," Mr. Rousteing said in a statement. "I’ve long admired her strength, style and talents and I’ve often dreamed of finding a way to work with Milla on a Balmain project."