Christophe Decarnin leaves Balmain

April 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Paris, Video, womenswear

Balmain is parting ways with Christophe Decarnin, the designer who transformed the dusty old fashion house into a red hot label, coveted by jet-set party girls worldwide. The Paris-based house made the announcement Wednesday, but did not give any details about the reasons behind the decision.
Rumors about Decarnin’s health have swirled since the shy designer failed to appear for a bow after his fall-winter 2011-12 ready-to-wear show last month. At the time, a spokesman for the house dismissed rumors that he was in a mental hospital, saying that he was resting on doctor’s orders.

Decarnin, the mastermind behind Balmain’s now-hallmark peaked-shouldered jackets and ultra-minidresses, joined Balmain in 2005. He came out of nowhere to head the house and with every collection he did for Balmain, sales doubled.  So who and what did Decarnin have to thank for all the success?

– The supercool girls. Balmain has become the label of the supercool girls. The girls in London and Paris who work as assistants at fashion magazines, design studios and P.R. firms, or who have some terrific family-tree connections they swing from. They’re 21 or 22 years old.  Julia Restoin Roitfeld wears Balmain. So does Charlotte Casiraghi, a daughter of Princess Caroline.

– French Vogue. French Vogue has had a lot to do with Decarnin’s success. He said himself in an interview with NY Times. Roitfeld and her daughter wore Balmain to the Cannes Film Festival. And Roitfeld and her lieutenants Emmanuelle Alt and Marie-Amélie Sauvé — have taken this relatively isolated man and molded him in the image of French Vogue.

– France. The clothes are unmistakenly French. Or like Cathy Horyn of the NY Times put it: “If I see young Bardots and Birkins bobbing around St.-Tropez half naked, I’ve seen precisely what he wants me to see. In their cut and fit, in their energy and implacably dirty sex appeal, these clothes could not have come from anywhere else but France — and not even France but Paris.”

– The sky-high prices. A pair of jeans or a cotton T-shirt cost about a 1000 euro, while a beaded jacket can cost more than 10.000 euro. It’s almost offensive. Decarnin said the prices reflect the quality of workmanship and fabrics, as well as the company’s limited structure. But those high prices might also be part of the message: my stuff costs a lot.

But why did it took so long to become successful? According to Emanuelle Alt – a long time fan and stylist of his shows – Decarnin has the talent, but is too shy.  “If you always stay in the shadows and don’t have the connections, it’s more difficult. Some people have a lot less talent, but they push themselves and go out and meet people.’’ Decarnin said he never goes to clubs.

Well, fashion in the street owns a lot to his trashy collections. Looking back, you see the streetwise girls took his punky, rock chick-style, with skinny jeans, T-shirts en fringed boots. Also: the revival of the strong shoulder and the fitted jacket. Even the long, bohemian flowerdresses he did in one of his early collections dominate the coming summer-fashion – although we have to thank Dolce & Gabbana for that too.

Watch a video about the last collection of Christophe Decarnin for Balmain:

Emmanuelle Alt new editor in chief French Vogue

January 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris

Emmanuelle Alt will be the brand new editor in chief of French Vogue. She will replace Carine Roitfeld, who in December announced she was planning on leaving the magazine.

On 1 February Alt will start with her new function and in the April edition of Vogue Paris she will officially be introduced to all Vogue Paris-readers.

‘It is a great honor for me, and also a great pleasure, to arrive at the head of Vogue Paris which I know so well. By working with such a talented team, I am confident of developing the incredible potential of the magazine’, Alt said at the press conference held on Friday 7 January.

Gaultier for Hermès: an overview

May 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Paris

Today the news came through that designer Jean Paul Gaultier will leave Hermès, the brand for which he has been designing for seven years. Though Gaultier will design one more spring collection for the French fashionlabel, we thought it would be nice to look back upon seven years of Gaultier for Hermès.

We selected the most eye-catching pieces of clothing and accessories Gaultier has been designing the past seven years. With every show Gaultier was able to amaze us; theywere great fun as well. The cultural themes of his shows made his collections look even more powerful, but he still managed to let the clothes remain classy.

The styling of the shows was always over the top with lots of great accessories and a different hat-style every season. We’re sure Gaultier had a lot of fun working for Hermes, and we think he did a great job too.

Now let’s wait and see if Christopher Lemaire is able to equal that at Hermès…

Cacharel Catwalk Fashion Show Paris FW2010

March 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

Today Cacharel showed us a lot of what the brand is famous for: prints. They were there on the skirts, tops, dresses and coats and were computer printed. Some designs had small flowers all over them, others had larger patterns. A 16th century French tapestry appeared to be the inspiration for these prints. So Cedric Charlier, whose second collection for Cacharel this was, literally ‘used the history of the brand (the prints) and took it to the future’ (computer prints), like he told the press.

The warm colors (red, gold, burgundy, green) were breathtaking and perfect for autumn. Especially a golden skirt with a red top and a black cardigan looked lovely, and very wearable too!

Made of silk and wool most pieces looked pretty decent. The long sleeved dresses (knee-length), the belted coats, and the skirts (above the knee) were not very exciting when it came to shape. Still the models looked very elegant and well-dressed in it.

The great thing about this Cacharel collection is the fact that almost any woman will find something she likes. And, while the designs are so wearable, she will easily be able to mix and match that item with clothes from her own wardrobe.