Christophe Decarnin, head designer of Balmain now for a few seasons has tapped into something other designers seem unable to do: Sexy. Well, it's not cold sexy like Gucci, there's a warmth to the clothes that appeals to people. Have women been yearning for the moment to arrive where they can dress like a slut and justify their look because it cost thousands of dollars? (ps, no one has to ‘justify’ their look, especially to me of all people).
It’s a very interesting change in fashion that Decarnin has set and I can’t for the life of me figure it out. He’s designing provocative, short, sexy, sequined dresses. He’s also designing swollen-shouldered military jackets in denim and it’s selling out. All of it.
There’s also been a recent comparison between Balmain and Balenciaga. Not a comparison of design but of stature. Admittedly, no one is getting as much hype as Balmain and it’s been hyped by customers and not the press. The press are merely reporting on the buzz, the waiting lists for those $2000 jeans and $4000 entry-level tuxedo jackets.
The collections themselves are cool but once they come off the runway and onto real people, well, they look fucking stupid. Only the rich and middle aged can afford these clothes but only the young and emaciated can pull it off. I can't remember where I read it (and I'm kicking myself because it was a fucking great article) but the author was saying something to the effect that some people don’t want to look demure, they want to wear their worth in crystals and sequins.

So for spring from what I've read, Balmain is getting rave reviews for a completely new direction. The 80's references are apparently gone and now we have an urban disco jungle warrior. Sounds like yawn on paper but it's not. The Balmain silhouette was still there (unbuttoned jacket with super-sized shoulders, slouchy top, skinny pants cropped above the ankle and a high-heeled boot), as were military jackets, this time with silver glo-mesh dripping from the shoulders. 80's references gone? Fuck no. Virtually every piece was a colour variation on army surplus green except for the glo-mesh dresses in silver and gold and the leather pieces which came in black. The boots were beautiful and it was nice to see someone design a realistic heel for a change. A top was sequined and layered with glo-mesh to resemble a camouflage scrim, the irony being you won't blend into anything in these clothes


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