“I was craving a bed like no other last year,” said Olivia Ballard after her fall 2024 runway presentation. With everything that has been going on politically, and the world returning to “this fast, fast pace of working” after coming out of the pandemic years, she found herself longing for moments of rest and solitude to reflect.
So the New York-born designer made her place of longing the central element of her collection Le Lit (The Bed), and played around with textures and fabrics based on the theme. Cloud-like blanket dresses and bomber jackets, padded pillow tops, plaid wool blanket elements, and lots of white jersey were among the very literal translations, while the use of heavier sweat fabrics and light silky suits with not unlike pajamas were among the more subtle ones.
The plaid and tailoring elements in particular felt rather atypical for Ballard, who is particularly known for her delicate dresses, of which there were only a few in the collection. For the designer, it was important to use the show and its performative character to experiment a bit more freely and take her usual textures and staple elements further. After all, her designs have always been about embracing different shapes and making us feel good in our body and clothes—and that’s exactly what wearing that gigantic back-zipped hoodie with sweat ruffles or carrying a pillow muff could do.
The show was accompanied by live music from the three-piece band La Chatte whose vocalist Vava Dudu was chanting “Xanax” from an actual bed on the runway, completing the calm-down atmosphere in a whimsical way.