September 29, 2007
"It's a mix of Native Americans and India," said Christophe Decarnin before the Balmain show. "It's also about freedom." Jumping headlong into the season's nouveau boho trend, he opened with a strapless dress, its bodice densely beaded and its long, flowing skirts rendered in a soft, pastel floral shot through with gold Lurex. From there, Decarnin wandered through ponchos, one with a beaded eagle emblazoned on the chest, as well as sequined smocks and mirrored mosaic suede vests worn with slouchy tees and flaring jeans. He carried on into more familiar body-con territory, though even his signature hourglass dresses got the hippie treatment. Barely grazing the models' bums, they came in tie-dye, a feather print, or beaded macramé. Evident throughout was the designer's unbridled affection for embellishment. Confronted with an unadorned surface, he'll add studs, fringe, or lacinganything to make his girls sparkle after dark. As one editor put it, should Roberto Cavalli's clients need a fix now that he's gone all gentle on them, Decarnin just might be their new man.