Bleeding Cool was the only comic book press invited to the launch of Balmain Dreams 10:OR, a high-end boutique graphic novel anthology created by French fashion house Balmain, its Creative Director Olivier Rousteing, Z2 Comics and a number of major comic book creators including Colleen Doran, David Mack, Dani, Alitha E. Martinez and Bengal. This is the first of a number of launches at Sofitel five-star hotels around the world, beginning at Sofitel St James London yesterday, and then moving on to Sofitel Dubai the Obelisk, Sofitel Singapore City Centre, and Sofitel Ambassador Seoul.
Sofitel St James Hotel is in London's West End yesterday afternoon, just down the Mall from Buckingham Palace, and before you get to Soho's Gosh Comics. The event was afternoon tea, with desserts created especially for the event.
As well as the graphic novel, a $50,000 case for a special edition of the graphic novel, made with gold and silver, was also on display. Of which Z2 Comics representatives had been lugging around London, and were set to take on the next leg of the journey.
The Rose Room at the Sofitel St James has been decorated to match the graphic novel, as well as the Balmain livery, including pages from the book by David Mack. A series of pictures of women, as seen through windows that are part of the form of another woman.
The idea of one person seen through the projected image of another, something very relevant in today's social mores, but also summing up the double image inherent in fashion, the person beneath and the person on display, and what the connective line between the two is.
Okay, so I was slightly out of place talking to art critics, fashion writers and high-end hoteliers. But then I discovered, I was just what was needed, as I was able to say the stuff above about Dave Mack's work in the book, how it could be interpreted and the power of the comic book page to convey ideas, no matter what they might be.
Consider it a comic book halo effect! The food and drink was most welcome, with a story behind each, as much as every individual story within the book, inspired by a different Balmain collection from a different year.
I mean, what better way to start the week?
But what more of the comic book? Well, I pored through the very limited edition version out of its case, careful not to drop any clotted cream down its pages. With an opening splash by Tina Valentino,
So we have pages by Colleen Doran
Those by David Mack, also seen on the walls around us.
Pages from Alitha E. Martinez
Pages by Bengal
And from Dani.
While each chapter is divided by the Balmain logos, a page of acetate and a sketch from the fashion line that inspired the story.
As well as interstitial scenes by Vasilis Lobos, showing the thoughts, the dreams, the fantasies of Olivier Rousteing.
And a foldout, turning the comic book page into a catwalk, tipped in at the back.
Obviously, for $50,000, I was going to have to disgrace myself and try and steal the damned thing…
Sadly, it was too heavy for my meagre grip. Copies of the book can be bought from Balmain for $500 for the 2400 limited edition, %2500 for the 50 limited edition or $50,000 for the 3-limited edition. I didn't get any clotted cream on it, I promise…