Christophe Decarnin is all about embellishments, be they metal studs or deliberate tears and tatters. He is so skilled at detailed destruction that a simple t-shirt can be attached to a four-figure price tag.
For the Spring 2011 Balmain collection, gone were the body-conscious dresses and overly defined shoulders.
Instead, Decarnin went for skin tight, punk-inspired separates. This was a natural progression for Decarnin, whose clothes always look best worn by a strong, powerful woman with a distinctive attitude (think Victoria Beckham).
Though tattered stockings and ripped shirts were part of the line-up, the collection featured glamorous punk rock looks that screamed over-the-top luxury.
Pieces include cropped, tight-fitting acid wash jeans, shredded shorts, super short biker shorts, and matching fitted leather biker jackets covered with studs, crystals, and safety pins (a la Ruthie Davis’ signature shoes).
Among the bolder looks to hit the runway were silver and red lamé pants, a white bustier top with safety pins, and brocade pantsuits. Along with the punk influence, there was a touch of Americana, seen notably in scruffy, ripped jeans paired with a distressed American flag printed top.
Decarnin’s punk inspiration is nothing new, and safety pins and studs have been around for seasons. However, no one has quite mastered body-conscious flash and couture details in a way as distinctly over-the-top as Decarnin. His looks have the unique ability to remain wearable – if you’re confident enough to rock them, that is.