So, Robin Givhan, Tell Us How You Really Feel About Christophe Decarnin’s Balmain

This Balmain T-shirt is $2,045 on Net-a-Porter.

"Certainly, the fashion industry — as a purveyor of beauty ideals, fine craftsmanship, and creativity — is better off without the aesthetic that he and Balmain popularized ... The cost of his fully bedazzled mini-dresses could reach well into tens of thousands of dollars, easily making a couture client hyperventilate. His tailored jackets, though beautifully cut, were also a king's ransom at $10,000. In fairness, some of the prices could be explained by the skill put into the cutting and the elaborate beadwork — one Prince-inspired collection, for example, featured frock coats lacquered in gold sequins. But Decarnin's tattered jeans and T-shirts were equally as expensive — think $1,000 for an artfully torn tank top. And no, he did not come to clients' homes himself with a pair of shears to do the snipping to their personal specifications. There is no justification for that sort of pricing other than it exploited one of the worst marketing tactics in the fashion industry. Balmain's jeans and T-shirts reeked of the most grotesque prestige pricing." [TDB]