Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing capped the second day of Paris Fashion Week on Wednesday, March 2, with provocation – and a thought for Ukraine. VIPs such as Serena Williams looked on as a battalion of dancers resembling soldiers in helmet-style hats put on a strange performance in the Le Marais venue to start the show. They seemed to fight one another depicting a battle – until the two lead soldiers dramatically kissed. Rousteing linked the display, which featured warlike drum music, to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, even penning a note in which he said collection was a resistance “against lies, hate and aggression” – referencing the “anxiety-inducing headlines of the past week”. Yet the collection itself dealt with the idea of honesty and transparency in a metaphorical way: through colour. The show was conceived as a response to Rousteing’s own personal battle with secrecy after he was burnt and left ashamed at being permanently scarred by an October 2020 explosion in his home, but he felt that the collection theme unfortunately dovetailed with the events in Eastern Europe. 6 K-pop idols who are ‘human luxury brands’, from V to Jennie Shimmering gold armoured breastplates, shields and stiff gilets featured in the exhaustive coed collection that used light colours such as whites, creams and pastels as a contrast to represent honesty or truth. Lace was used alongside metal and neoprene to further this point of contrast – on signature Rousteing silhouettes that emphasised the shoulder and thick trousers that clung to the legs with criss-cross or ribbed detailing. 6 facts about A$AP Rocky, father to Rihanna’s first child There was nothing groundbreaking here, though some of the 74 looks cut fine styles, including a white panelled apron that seemed part Japanese warrior, part cricket whites. Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .