Who would’ve predicted that there would one day come a time when we actually missed airline travel in all its glorious mundanity? Most of us never expected to reminisce about the distinct type of cuisine that is plane food, or the nimble footwork required when attempting to wrangle two wheelie suitcases to the check-in desk. We now long for the sights and sounds of what we once regarded as little more than an unfortunate, necessary headache on the way to our destination.
Now, it’s the journey that captures our collective craving for travel. Olivier Rousteing tapped into this uniquely nostalgic feeling with Balmain‘s Fall 2021 runway, which took place on an airplane. And when we say on an airplane, we don’t just mean the French house co-opted the cabin of a small private plane – the show literally took place on the wing of an Air France jet.
The collection followed a similar transitory thread, albeit in a nod to the glamorous air travel days of the 60s, when jaunts abroad were cause for breaking out one’s sharpest attire. In those days finery was par for the boarding area concourse, a prized privilege rather than a chore. It was common for passengers to put on pearls and suits, rather than the comfort gear we wore pre-pandemic.
There wasn’t a sweatshirt or slovenly pair of trackpants in sight during Rousteing’s ode to air travel. Instead, Balmain’s intrepid explorers wore structured outerwear and carried hat boxes as they strode through hangars, before slipping into to space-age powersuits for the finale.
Once permissible, perhaps our travel-starved selves will be keen to ditch our casual loungewear and take to the skies in the stylish garb we donned several decades ago. Maybe the magic and promise of a far-flung trip will restore the novelty – at least for a moment – and generate a greater appreciation for something our ancestors could only dream of.
If it means dressing like Rouseteing’s decorated dauntless pilgrims, count (or should we say check?) us in.