Ding Dong, Balmainia's Dead

I'm not one to be a negative Nancy, but I do think there is some room for informed critique on this blog. Like many an editor at the recent Balmain show, I was completely...underwhelmed.

True, I was never personally a fan of the sharp, crystallized shoulders of yesteryear, but at least I could appreciate the great tailoring and workmanship walking down a runway (or on Beyonce). Decarnin's offering for SS11, on the other hand, seems completely devoid of inspiration. It goes punk, but only weakly so.

Lackluster leathers top the blandest of denim, resulting in some sort of mediocre mom's idea of staying "cool". The makeup is naked and forgetable, the hair barely tousled, the safety pins cliche. It's punk tempered through a mass-market lens, and it's not good.

I'd like to think this is part of some grander statement about fast fashion or fashion in general, but given head designer Christopher Decarnin's penchant for the style, it's not likely. Or maybe all the flack is simply the reflection of fashion's fickle taste and timely turn away from worn out trends. Either way you slice it (or in this case, shred it), Decarnin fails to maintain relevance.

What would have been nice (and much more luxe!) are unique cuts, perforations or slices to the obviously supple leathers. Instead of here-a-pin-there-a-pin placements, the safety accoutrements could have been used to create interesting tensions along the fabric. Or what about beaded or studded pins arranged to create Chuck Close-like images? As for the jeans, I'm not sure if anything could save them.

In sum, I cannot believe these things are on a runway looking like a Rave store. In Paris, no less!


  1. Hmmmm. I think I have to agree with you on that. It's a little Urban Outfitters for me. Where's all of the hardware? I want some metal spikes.

    Love the new header, btw

  2. totally agree! it's washed down punk for the ignorant generation. i thought balmain was supposed to be edgy!?
    x x x

  3. That last look is so wrong and has lost it's edge of a few seasons ago; it's stuff I've seen before and all wrong for the catwalk. A victim of it's own hype.


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