L.A. birthday bash for Balmain designer draws Kardashians, JLo and more


Fresh off the heels of a New York City launch party for the upcoming Balmain X H&M collection (which drops Nov. 5), Balmain’s creative director, Olivier Rousteing, winged his way west for a belated but star-studded 30th birthday party that found several fashion weeks’ worth of celebrity fire power winding their way up to a luxe-rustic (luxtic?) Craftsman-style cabin at the top of Laurel Canyon -- including Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, three Smiths (as in Jada Pinkett, Jaden and Willow) and a quintet of Kardashian ilk.

Thrown for the Paris-based designer by Apple’s Beats brand, the evening had some serious musical high notes, including DJ sets by DJ Kiss and DJ Mos and surprise performances by Marsha Ambrosius and Tyga.

And, sandwiched as it was between the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund show at the Chateau Marmont last Tuesday and the first-ever InStyle awards at the Getty Museum the following Monday, the fashion flock was in town and out in force as well. Among the star-level models that could be found lounging on paillete-covered couches and hilling beneath a conical bohemian tent were Chanel Iman, Cara Delevingne, Angela Lindvall, Alessandra Ambrosio (who took to the yard swing for a spin), Jourdan Dunn and Kendall Jenner (the last two women also happen to be appearing in the ad campaign for the H&M collaboration).


Kendall’s sister Kylie was in the house too, as was mother Kris Jenner and half-sisters Kim Kardashian West and Kourtney Kardashian, the latter of whom could be seen sitting on a sofa and snapping a selfie with Jaden Smith.

“I just popped [over] here for two days,” Rousteing told us at the Friday night fete in between conversations and photo ops with the likes of Jussie Smollett (“Empire”), Kate Hudson and Mary J. Blige. “I wanted to be here with my friends who support and love me.”

Since Rousteing’s cadre of friends and supporters have nicknamed themselves the “Balmain army” -- with the more hardcore fans opting for the sobriquet “Balmaniac” -- we couldn’t help but ask the birthday boy if that made the 1940s-era hillside cabin, with a view that spread out across the Los Angeles Basin like a sequin-covered magic carpet, was the evening’s de facto “Balmansion.”

“Balmansion? I love that idea!” Rousteing said with a huge smile, “Let’s do that!”

Rousteing, who took the reins at Balmain in 2011 (replacing Christophe Decarnin) has done much to raise the profile of the 69-year-old French house, and his upcoming collaboration with H&M is likely to help propel the brand (which has no U.S. flagship and sells in a relatively small number of stores, including Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York and Maxfield locally) into the pop-fashion stratosphere.

So what’s left to accomplish for fashion’s ascendant star, who turned the ripe young age of 30 on Sept. 23?

“I’ve accomplished so much in 30 years.” he told us, “I just want to wake up tomorrow as happy as I am today.”


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