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January 03, 2010

Noughties Haute Couture Pt. 2: Oh Balmain, How You've Changed

The Swelle Life
This is Balmain haute couture, spring 2001. So bland it hurts. It hurts bad.

In 2001, the house of Pierre Balmain was showing haute couture with Oscar de la Renta at the helm. Oscar's Ladies Who Lunch must have been dining on clear broth and water, holding the lemon for it's got too much zing. And why accessorise when the beige is already carrying the outfit into the outer limits of thrillsville? And the hair. The hair! This was 2001, not 1991. Hard to believe, eh? 

Look what they did to Raquel Zimmermann, who was 18 at the time:


And Raquel in a look from Balmain spring RTW 2009:


What a difference the choice of creative director makes. Christophe Decarnin has revived the struggling brand with too cool for school ready to wear but the prices are in serious need of review. It's all a bit silly and even insulting. You can't buy the shoes in the pic above anymore but they came with a price tag of around $2300. But that's a lot of bang for your buck considering it'll cost you $3000 for a glittery cotton t-shirt. It's got glitter!! 


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heh heh - that does look like 1991~ and who buys $3k tshirts with glitter? i've got some of my son's glitter glue handy...

Why does 2001 seem so distant now? However, those comparisons between Balmain then and now are just jarring. And yes, the prices are in some serious need of review. $3K for a T-shirt sprayed with glitter? Erm, no.

Oh dearie me. I think those t-shirts exist to prove that some people do have too much money. I imagine Paris Hilton and her clan will be buying them, non?

Whoa, that 2001 collection looks like the Stepford Wives Luncheon Club. It's a step up, but the prices are, as you say, insulting.

Forgot to add... that dress from the RTW 2009 collection is a bit Liz Hurley at the Oscars, but I do like the shoes!

Miss Nightingale - you're spot on, that dress is Liz Hurley evening wear standard issue! Definitely her brand of cleavage and showing a lot of leg.

It will be interesting if a few years down the road those who own the Decarnin pieces will be rewarded - will they be deemed 'important' and become the coveted vintage pieces of the future? For those who shelled out, I certainly hope so (I wouldn't really care but someone I really like and admire owns those shoes and therefore I hope it works out for her!)

Denise ♥

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