Paris Fashion Week: Balmain

Hilary Alexander reports from Paris Fashion Week:-

The somewhat sober mood and longer hemlines of Milan Fashion Week were swept away by punk glamour on the opening day of the Paris prêt-à-porter season yesterday.

Balmain autumn/winter 2008/2009 collection
Punk glamour: hemlines dropped at Balmain

The young French designer Christophe Decarnin at Balmain produced a collection which was the exact reverse of over-the-knee skirts and restrained, autumnal tones.

With its micro-minis, Sex Pistols’ tartans, sock-it-to-me glitz, cave-woman leathers and crystal-embroidered animal prints, the show had all the subtlety of a kick in the teeth with a pair of Dr Martens and could not have been further from the ethos of the founder of the house, Pierre Balmain, who believed in ‘elegance from simplicity’.

Decarnin’s microscopic shift dresses glittered with red and black lightning flashes or shiny, beaded tiger-stripes and were accessorized with spike-heeled, black suede booties, with a fringe of leather around the ankle.

Body-hugging tube dresses, which covered just enough to avoid infringing laws of public decency, were emblazoned with crystal leopard-prints. A black leather scrap of a dress, with a ragged hemline that could have been chewed by a woolly mammoth, was encrusted with big cat spots in silver mesh.


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