Balmain Dreams 10:OR Graphic Novel Launch At Sofitel St James London

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.

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

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.

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

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.

 

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

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.

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

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.

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

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.

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

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.

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

I mean, what better way to start the week?

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

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,

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

So we have pages by Colleen Doran

 

Balmain z2 Sofitel comicsBalmain z2 Sofitel comics

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

Those by David Mack, also seen on the walls around us.

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

Pages from Alitha E. Martinez

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

 

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

 

Pages by Bengal

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

 

And from Dani.

 

Balmain z2 Sofitel comicsBalmain z2 Sofitel comics

While each chapter is divided by the Balmain logos, a page of acetate and a sketch from the fashion line that inspired the story.

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

As well as interstitial scenes by Vasilis Lobos, showing the thoughts, the dreams, the fantasies of Olivier Rousteing.

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

And a foldout, turning the comic book page into a catwalk, tipped in at the back.

Balmain z2 Sofitel comics

Obviously, for $50,000, I was going to have to disgrace myself and try and steal the damned thing…

Balmain Dreams 10:OR Graphic Novels Launch At Sofital St James London

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…

 

 

 

 

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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