In the period following World War II, Pierre Balmain was "a king of French fashion" and outfitted stars including Ava Gardner and Bridgette Bardot After Pierre Balmain's death in 1982, the house was led by Erik Mortensen, described by Vogue as Pierre Balmain's "right hand." Oscar de la Renta led the house between 1993 and 2001. Under Pierre Balmain, Mortensen, and de la Renta, the house was known for its classic, luxurious designs. Today, the house is led by designer Christophe Decarnin whose vision for the house is more modern and edgier. (wikipedia.org)
From the classic looks that grace the 40's most glamorous movie stars to today's edgy looks that is every fashionista's dream, Balmain has completely trancsended it's style 180 degrees in just 8 short years. Although my heart pounds strongly for both looks, I cannot help but wonder, is it still Balmain when it's vision no longer illuminates the style of it's original creator? Will Pierre Balmain be pleased if he is alive to see today's line? Decide for yourself...
Fall 2001 Oscar de la Renta's final collection for Balmain
Fall 2009 Christophe Decarnin's latest collection for Balmain