September 30, 2009 Paris
For Spring, Decarnin brought out another whammy of a no-brainer blockbuster: disco cavewoman goes to the front. His army of sizzling, sleek-limbed supergirls strode out with huge-shouldered, metal-epauletted military tailcoats. Their T-shirts were tattered; bullet belts were slung around artfully "destroyed," stained, and holed jeans or, yet more sensationally, minute, hypersexed, raggedy suede and leather loincloths (the term "skirt" hardly covers it). Patching together seventies M*A*S*H and early Versace chain-mailed goddess-dressing, the show moved from camouflage to sequined camouflage to patchworked gold-sequined camouflage without a flicker of irony or the slightest fear of treading on politically sensitive ground. Some schools of thought will condemn that outright. Others will argue, purely on taste grounds, that wearing a belt with bullets arranged in a flower pattern or a military shirt with shrapnel holes filled in with gold patches is a fashion misdemeanor worthy of ten days in the slammer. And yet, none of that is likely to have the slightest effect on the runaway success of this Balmain collection.