Balmain rocks Paris for Red project with Darren Criss and Rag‘n’Bone Man
They celebrate the summer solstice every year in Paris with a giant street party called the Fête de la Musique, where every bar and bistro has live music. Though the biggest party this year was by Balmain, a magnificent runway show and concert in the Jardin des Plantes.
The rockin’ soirée was also a generous gesture by the storied French couture house, as all the proceeds of the event went to Red, an organization backed by Bono of U2 to reduce and prevent AIDS worldwide.
For music, Darren Criss, who played the character Blaine in the hit TV series 'Glee', staged a great mini-concert of rock standards – from Queen to the Rolling Stones – taking in the French pop hit Champs Elysées. Singing in good French, with the locals loving his accent and joining in.
Balmain built a mammoth set outside the city’s zoological museum, and under a sky worthy of Tiepolo, Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing sent out a great selection of rock star clobber.
Everything from his own personal style – two-tone 1930s jazz bandleader tuxedos and tails; multi-colored intarsia biker jackets and silk satin dhoti pants. The Tiepolo pinks and little boy blues of the sky reflected on a regiment of metallic rock looks: silver pyjama pants; broken mirror boleros and dazzling crushed red-gold dusters.
Rousteing took a long ovation on the runway, built like a rock singer’s catwalk in a stadium concert.
Later, when Criss was doing a remarkable imitation of Freddie Mercury on the piano. Rousteing suddenly appeared to take selfies with the singer live.
With patrons at the paying bar downing French Mule cocktails, Rag‘n’Bone Man appeared for a second concert, a heartfelt set that seemed to sum up the Red project. The soirée marked the latest link up with fashion for Red, dating back to Giorgio Armani over a decade ago with his still very cool digital Red Armani watch.
Sheila Roche, Red’s global communications director, told FashionNetwork.com that Red has raised some $650 million for projects, aiding over 100 million people, as the Red fête continued well after midnight.
Long may that continue.
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