A particularly poignant moment during the finale came when black models walked down in a variety of textured dresses, some with the corseted look Rousteing favours and a song by Youssou N’Dour featuring the lyrics: “And when a child is born into this world, it has no concept, of the tone the skin is living in.”
After the show ended, the rising Nigerian star of Afrobeats, Ckay, performed on stage for thousands attending the event.
The devil was in the detail, with straw dresses as well as models wearing large gold earrings, large-brimmed hats and necklaces almost completely covering the neck, while others had nose rings.
The glamour oozed at the Balmain event, with celebrities attending including US singer and actor Dove Cameron, Belgian artist Stromae and American reality TV star and close friend of Rousteing, Kylie Jenner.
Rousteing, 37, has been artistic director at Balmain since 2011 and is known for pushing the brand into new territory and working with celebrities such as Jenner and her famous half-sister Kim Kardashian.
As cosmetics becomes an ever-bigger industry, Balmain this week announced plans to launch a beauty line as part of a partnership with Estée Lauder.