Christophe Decarnin's Balmain collection is amazing. The thing that separates Decarnin's Balmain from rehashed tat is the execution. The guy has Parisian couture skills up his sleeve—a super-skinny sleeve, finessed upwards into a brilliant new shoulder with a bump-peaked swagger on jackets and dresses. (The eighties never looked like that.) With vintage Madonna on the soundtrack, his Spring show—all bling and rock-chick fabulousness—gave the opening of Paris fashion week a shot of pure adrenalin. For a girl looking for an instant backstage pass, this is the wardrobe that will send her sailing past the heaviest security on sight.Drummer-boy Michael Jackson jackets with the frogging picked out in crystal, souped-up stonewashed jeans, bandage-wrap dresses, sequin-smothered sheaths, teeny tutus, teetering sky-high diamanté-and-stud sandals: Every after-party dream is answered here. It's the kind of shameless pop-bedazzled energy that won Gianni Versace a reputation for tackiness in the high eighties, but also took him to the top.
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