Balmain Goes Jungle Chic for Spring 2010

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Rihanna, Carine, and the Thai princess. Photo: Getty Images

WWD has a long article today about how amazing Balmain designer Christophe Decarnin is. Sales of Balmain's women's ready-to-wear have doubled each season since Decarnin arrived in 2006. The fashion-loving masses still find themselves in the throes of Balmainia, a syndrome made all the more elitist by the label's prices — $2,000 for ripped jeans, $8,900 for jackets, $5,900 for capes.

The spring 2010 show just walked in Paris, but did Decarnin maintain his momentum? The clothes took a turn from eighties disco to Tarzan-and-Jane-fell-in-a-dirty-swamp jungle chic. (Or, as one unimpressed commenter on the Fashion Spot writes, "I take it this season the gladiator whore meets ice skater is the order of the day.") The connecting thread? Plenty of skin. The strong shoulders are still there, but the clothes are shiny by way of lamé and glossy black leather in addition to sequins. Instead of acid-wash jeans, Decarnin showed black cutoff shorts.

The front row also evolved from last year. French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld was there, as always. She was joined this season by Rihanna (who stopped by the Gareth Pugh show yesterday), who was wearing a Balmain jacket and fall 2009 Balmain Hammer pants. Her top, however, appeared to consist of merely a black bra paired with a lace body stocking. But good for her for wearing real pants! They were joined by the 22-year-old princess of Thailand, Sirivannavari Nariratana.

Stay tuned for our complete slideshow of the collection.

Balmain S/S 10 Paris [TFS]