The major news surrounding the Fall 2011 Balmain show was that creative director Christophe Decarnin was not at the runway show to take his bow. Rumors immediately began swirling that the designer checked into a metal institution and, according to WWD, Decarnin “was absent under doctor’s orders, after having recently been released from the hospital, where he was said to have been treated for depression. A Balmain spokesman said Decarnin was involved in the design.” The news was heartbreaking especially in light of all the breakdowns and meltdowns we’ve seen in the fashion industry these past few seasons. While the sad news has somewhat overshadowed the collection, there was plenty to love about this season’s show.
Styled by Melanie Ward, who replaced Emmanuelle Alt after the latter was appointed to her current editor-in-chief position at Paris Vogue, there was a more relaxed feel to the collection. Shoulders, while still defined, weren’t as stiff, pants and cocktail dresses, while still form fitting, weren’t skin tight, and there was even a loosely tailored black blazer with no beading in sight. That’s not to say that the crystal embellishments taken to the max weren’t on the runway, but this season offered a more welcome and diverse offering from Balmain.
Photos: Vincenzo Grillo, IMAXtree.