Friday, April 17, 2009

Balmain, Just Because...

I can't believe I haven't posted anything regarding Balmain, one of the hottest, coolest brands out there today. Let me qualify that statement. I mean that during this global recession, Balmain still managed to completely sell out their ripped jeans (like the one above), priced at around USD $1,600, in London after hitting headlines. NYmag calls it Balmainia. I call it "too-much-money-to-throw-around" syndrome. After all, those jeans are considered cheap in the Balmain collection. The Seargeant Pepper Rocker Blazer (below), though extremely cool and well-executed, costs a whooping USD $10,371.34. Got that? Five figures. And it's SOLD OUT. But don't worry, you can still get a Khaki Studded Vest for $5,930, and a Wrinkle Optic Leather Jacket for $6,435. Also, don't forget Balmain's new shoe line.

You might be wondering how Balmain can be so recession-proof, or even recession-defying. Part of the answer probably lies in Balmain's history. Pierre Balmain started the eponymous brand in 1945. Pierre Balmain was hailed as "a king of French fashion" and his clients included stars like Ava Gardner and Brigitte Bardot. Balmain practically initiated the glory days of Parisian house as he outfitted Hollywood icons and European royalty in elegant and luxurious designs. In 1982, Erik Mortensen took the helm after Pierre Balmain's death. Then, Oscar de la Renta took over from 1993 to 2001.

French designer Christophe Decarnin relaunched the label with his Spring 2007 Ready-to-Wear collection, and now he heads the Balmain house and its edgier revival. His aesthetic of classic couture-driven ladylike elegance paired with a modern edge is exactly what started Balmainia. Just look through Balmain Fall'09 collection and you will see that Christophe Decarnin has truly mastered the marriage of archival references to the disco era and modern execution. (You can dive into his older collections too and see for yourself why people are so crazy for Balmain.) In general, there is tough and put-together sexiness around the relaunched Balmain. What do you think? If you had extra money to throw around, would you partake in Balmain's understated, yet out-of-the-ordinary glamor?


Beyonce and Rihanna were both seen in the 5-figures Balmain jacket. How's that for proof of Balmainia?

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