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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Balmain: Returning Heroines Rule

Godfrey Deeny
October 01st, 2009 @ 4:02 PM - Paris

Balmain, the hottest and hippest show in fashion today, staged a Spring 2010 ready-to-wear show that was a returning heroine moment of great zest and epic edgy beauty.

Balmain’s designer Christophe Decarnin kicked off the show with the best opening look of the month-long season of some 400 runway shows that began on Thursday, Sept. 10 in Manhattan and ends next Thursday, Oct. 8 in Paris. The warrior babe look, composed of a Napoleonic frock coat, tattered and made in green cotton with worn epaulettes and bullion, paired with a destroyed T-shirt and tight leather leggings, was simply sensational – so good an opener the members of the front row almost audibly drew in their breaths.

The follow-up, a leotard dress in golden chain mail with twisted chiffon hips, set the mood for a rip-roaring display of haute rock-and-military mode.

Staged in the Grand Hotel before an audience featuring Michael Stipe of R.E.M. and Rihanna, the show has a high energy moment of sexy, yet always faintly wrecked, luxury.

Decarnin’s standout look, however, was a technically audacious all-black crocodile frock coat, made of a large single skin, so raw it featured cut out eyes at the back.

It’s sometimes said of this designer that he has a limited range, and it’s true his oeuvre is pretty tight, but the addition of striking tie-dye chain mail fabrics and the sheer chutzpah of his twisting draping showed he has plenty of creative tricks up his sleeve.

“It’s very in keeping with my style. But a bit more military and always a little boyish,” Decarnin said.

Under Decarnin, Balmain has become the most copied collection in fashion, and after this latest performance, once can see why. In a final compliment to this designer and collection, you could tell the models loved the clothes, for as they turned to head back on the U-shaped catwalk, they all could see themselves in hotel ballroom’s huge mirrors. And, you know what? Every one of them smiled at how good they all looked.

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