What is going on in Paris? Galliano: fired by Dior. Balmain's Christophe Decarnin: disappeared? The big news at the Balmain show today was supposed to be that the models were still very sexy and still wearing short, tight, sparkle frocks with Melanie Ward consulting and styling for the brand in place of Emmanuelle Alt, who had to give up that gig at the label to become editor-in-chief of French Vogue. But that's been overshadowed by the news that Decarnin wasn't at the show this morning! He didn't bow at the end of it and was seen nowhere backstage afterward. Hint's blog reports that an anonymous person told them he's been in a "mental hospital" since January:
Described as a "total nightmare," he disappeared one day in mid-January. Soon after, it was announced to employees that he would not be coming back.
However, Balmain owner M. Alain Hivelin gave the Telegraph's Hilary Alexander a much less scandalous explanation: "He's tired, after working on the collection." What?
"No, he's NOT retired. He's just tired. He didn't go to bed until 5am. He's not here, he's resting," M. Hivelin stressed.
It's easy to be skeptical of both explanations, since the former is coming from a unnamed source and the latter seems strange: Lots of designers don't get their full eight — or even six — hours of sleep in the days leading up to their shows, but usually they show up even if they've been up all night. Not showing up only helps fuel rumors that you're in rehab or the loony bin or have been secretly fired — and fashion executives tend not to like press relating to any of those things.
So anyway, Ward — who Hint is reporting designed the fall 2011 line without Decarnin — spoke to reporters on behalf of the clothing. "It's workwear-inspired," she told Alexander. "Dirty white leather." Okay, neat, but — mental hospital?!