Saturday, 31 January 2009

FW09 Balmain Men's Collection

We just realised that we forgot to post this as part of our Paris men's FW09 summary, which wasn't particularly clever considering Balmain was the other menswear debut (along with Gareth Pugh) that we were all meant to be super-hyped about, but perhaps when you see the collection you will forgive us for having overlooked it..


Oh Christophe Decarnin, non, non, non.. quelle grande disappointment, quelle let-down.

Sure it's his first season doing men's so perhaps we should cut him some slack, but when the women's is so hot, so covetable, so fierce.. you really expect something more than these incredibly dull men's outifts (which you could construct entirely with American Apparel and Zara pieces), topped off with very ugly boots. Granted he must still be 'finding his feet' for designing men's collections, but you really would be forgiven for thinking that when you hold such a big design job at a red-hot Parisian fashion house you would be able to come up with something better. Why did Balmain bother launching men's? This doesn't say 'Balmain' to us, it say 'bad design trading off Balmain's name,' which is hardly a sustainable way of doing a new men's line.

It puzzles us how little this collection picks up on what makes Balmain women's so successful at the moment.. we expected there'd be much more of a rock vibe (metal studs, skinnier jeans - not ripped, stone washed, dare we say Eurotrashy, jeans that look like bad copies of DSquared2 or D&G), and that they'd have used the current hot Hedi Slimane style models, Ash Stymest and Jethro Cave, to add that excitement that is so sorely lacking. We're not sure who this collection is aimed at, or who's going to buy it (save a few label-addicts bereft of aesthetic sense), although we can safely say the greatest thrill will probably come from seeing how Balmain's infamously high prices are applied... $4,000 for a grey hoodie? $8,000 for nasty jeans? And life goes on.

Images from WWD.

10 comments:

  1. the collection is indeed quite a let-down... oh well.

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  2. kind of disappointing, but I didn't expect Decarnin to dive in head-first for his first men's collection. perhaps let's give him another chance next season?

    Of all the pieces in the collection, perhaps the shawl-lapel jacket and maybe even the studded belt show promise. But we want more of that Balmain edge!!

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  3. Part of me agrees, but when you have a top job at a top fashion house and all the backup and support to do amazing things, this collection just seems lazy.

    Of course I wouldn't be so mean if it was the first collection of a young designer with little experience who genuinely needs to 'find their feet', but should we really be allowing designers who have already reached the top this luxury of getting away with lazy first collections just because they're 'settling in'?

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  4. By far Balmain's womens line is more inspirational.

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  5. yuk yuk yuk and i bet thats what the models were thinking too. i can't imagine that coming down the catwalk after all the others from the past couple of weeks.

    i was a big fan of the womens wear, so i feel your disappointment.

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  6. You are totally right! Esp for these price-points!

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  7. In my opinion the collection depends very much on the models.
    Check out the photos in the german issue of GQ-Style. The biker-jeans have a much skinnier fit there which changes the whole appearance.
    Quite casual and rough but still very classy.

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  8. This is in fact his second collection, Decarnin did make SS09 and sold at very selective stores, e.g. Joyce HK.

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  9. I love it and it's exactly how I want to dress. The proportions are perfect and I'm glad it's not dolled up with insipid little details, that's what makes it masculine. It's no Heddi Slimane but still I'd sleep with this look.

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  10. I love this collection too. The fit of jeans is nice but not too skinny. Leave being Hedi Slimane to Hedi Slimane and don't expect a womens collection to be just like the mens. If you want ridiculously skinny balmain jeans buy a pair of women's.

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