The tropical greenery cascaded over the runway as the Balmain army marched past the tropical scenery in dresses of leaf green and earth brown - plain and polite by designer Olivier Rousteing's standards.
Only Olivier's friend Kim Kardashian, in a dress with the body coverage of a fishing net, and her extended family gave a hint of the seductive gowns that would later glitter their path down the catwalk.
"I love hardwear - I am addicted to it," said Kim backstage with her sister Kourtney Kardashian in a bower of greenery, as hot model Gigi Hadid, former French First Lady Carla Bruni and the ever glamorous Giancarlo Giammetti, milled around them.
Balmain is making waves - partly for the sum Qatar investment Mayhoola offered to take on the house, which is no doubt hoping to create the same success as with Valentino - the company's other big fashion name.
There is also a latent criticism of Olivier himself and the shake-up he has given to the once staid French couture house - whether that is based on envy or a dislike of his feisty approach.
But like a new day dawning, something had changed at Balmain. It was a kinder, gentler and more nature based view of fashion. After the first clothes, the colours inspired by the green tropical plantation heated up to a fiery shade. But the earlier outfits cascaded down the body softly.
Only later came hefty belts, double slit skirts letting legs out up to the thigh, and a shade of blue brighter than any tropical sky. As red took over, Olivier started his game of more-flesh-than-dress. But this sexuality was counterbalanced by craftsmanship and by coloured coverups
The show was assured yet fresh. But just when you thought that this 80-strong collection was coming to a crescendo, out came metallic outfits, Gianni Versace 1980s style, glittering like an entire galaxy of stars had fallen from the skies onto these quivering bodies.
What to make of the drama of Balmain's presentation? Firstly, this in-your-face sexy glamour is working, and secondly, that Olivier Rousteing is pushing in a new direction. His nature trail may be long, and its destination distant, but full marks for trying to take a new direction.