>> Christophe Decarnin's Sex Pistols-inspired Spring 2011 show left watchers squarely in two camps: those who were still feeling the Balmania and those who weren't.
"Yikes," Cathy Horyn wrote of the slashed, studded, and safety-pinned collection. "Mr. Decarnin isn’t one for change, but couldn’t he have hit a fashion button other than redial?" She continued: "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." Style.com's Nicole Phelps felt similarly: "The question [is]: Is Balmainia still so strong that women will shell out the serious bucks that a crystal- and metal-studded jacket is going to cost, when the look is so DIY?"
Vogue.com's Sarah Mower countered: "It would be missing the point of Balmain to say that there is no garment in this collection you couldn’t source at a street market. The sheer blatant obviousness of putting on a display which contains nothing much more than shredded tanks, micro-denim shorts, pelmet skirts, studded biker jackets, and spray-on jeans is a big two fingers-up to fashion snobbery. Yet, wow: The heat of the sexual energy generated at this show is more than you’ll witness anywhere. And if it annoys fashion intellectuals? Job done." WWD agreed: "This was not intellectual fashion, nor does it pretend to be. And at face value, the collection once again lived up to its reputation as the label for fun, flashy clothes for women with money — lots of it — who want to feel young." Also worth a note: Decarnin went without dresses or gowns this season.