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First look: Pierre Balmain SS 2012

28 Jul
With t-shirts costing around £1,000 from main label Balmain, I was more than eagerly awaiting the arrival of the more affordable Pierre Balmain line. However, I had reservations after Christophe Decarnin parted ways with the label. New creative director Olivier Rousteing has had no part in the design either, it’s been created by a separate design team. Hmmm. They have designed womenswear and menswear collections encompassing everything from eveningwear to jeans and tailoring, with t-shirts starting at £105 and eveningwear at £795; taking the price points from super wealthy only to wealthy only. My verdict? To be honest, I wasn’t impressed. Balmain usually blows me away with it’s super sexy, rock n roll aesthetic but this fell a little short. The likes of Miu Miu and Marc by Marc have set the bar so high for diffusion lines and this feels like a cheap imitation rather than a proper stand alone line. I’m not sure if Marc or Miuccia have much to do with their diffusion lines but it just feels like they are more finished as products and a whole collection. Mind you, this is just a snapshot so maybe it will get better. I do love the black sharply tailored jacket though. 

Launching in December with the Spring 2012 collection, the diffusion line will be available in stores worldwide while Paris, Milan, Rome and Hong Kong will have stand-alone boutiques. 

Balmain to launch diffusion line

23 May

Could this be the best news ever? I’m a huge Balmain fan, my inner fashion magpie lusts after every single bejewelled piece which shimmies it’s way down the runway. But alas the ridiculously high price points meant that my Balmain dreams were dashed. With prices starting at around the £1,000 mark, very few were actually able to catch the Balmania bug. The new diffusion label, the second major change since Olivier Rousteing replaced the previous creative director Christophe Decarnin, will be launched in September as a younger, more affordable range. Named Pierre Balmain, it will be designed by a new team, though Olivier Rousteing will oversee the collection, which caters to both men and women and will be available for spring/summer 2012. 

Although a Balmain line more within the reach of mere mortals is brilliant news, it will be a different Balmain, without Decarnin at the helm. I hope his rock ‘n’ roll, sexy edge is preserved, but we will have to see what September brings. Here are some images from my favourite Balmain collection, SS09. 

* Images

Decarnin leaves Balmain

7 Apr

The end of Balmania is here. Yesterday, the sad news broke that Christophe Decarnin was parting ways with haute fashion house Balmain with immediate effect. Having spent just over five years at the helm, Decarnin is credited with turning around the fortunes of the house, which has gained a phenomenal following despite the insane price tags – £1,000 for a t-shirt, anyone?! Never one to disappoint, his shows were known for their super sexy, rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic, which won the brand an army of fans including brand ambassador, show stylist and unofficial muse Emmanuelle Alt.

The first sign that something was amiss was during the AW11 show in Paris just a couple of months ago, Decarnin’s conspicuous absence from the show sparked rumours ranging from a rift with Balmain CEO Alain Hivelin to depression and alleged substance abuse. If the latter is true, then this is yet another example of the pressures within the fashion industry. Just over a year after Alexander McQueens untimely death, the pressure of churning out collection after collection is still evident.

I think it’s incredibly sad that Decarnin has left Balmain, it’s the end of an era but his legacy will live on though his beautiful collections.