Cathy Horyn Likens the New Balmain Collection to a Lousy Joke

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Photo: Imaxtree

Balmain hath walked! Aaaand that is not one of the most exciting sentences to read this season, which is somewhat of a departure from recent seasons past. Christophe Decarnin showed more of the Bal-same: ripped T-shirts held together with safety pins, acid-wash jeans, ripped fishnets, embellished jackets, and tiny cutoff shorts. Cathy Horyn isn't feeling it:


The clothes were great for showing off the models’ long bodies, and so will produce sexy photographs, but punk is now a style cliché. That Balmain is one of the most expensive labels, with a plain undershirt (without holes) costing around $450, makes the notion of a safety-pinned jacket something of a joke — and not even a very clever one.


She's not thrilled with Paris as a whole so far this season. "After an exciting Milan ready-to-wear season, the Paris shows seem to be running at the speed of a 45-r.p.m. record," she writes. The thing is, Horyn is still riding high from her unexpected love affair with Milan, which this season morphed from a warm-up to Paris to a full-on workout in fabulous fashion all its own. It's like being married for decades, then having an affair on vacation, coming back to the old ball and chain, and realizing it's not as great as you previously thought.

View a slideshow of Balmain's complete spring 2011 collection.

Paris Drops a Needle in a Worn Groove [On the Runway/NYT]