The sunny mood of the Milan collections? It was au revoir to all that on day two of Paris fashion week. A few hours after Balenciaga's teddy-boy girls strode out this morning, Christophe Decarnin was putting twenty-first-century proto-punks on his Balmain runway. They wore biker jackets studded and safety pinned to the hilt; tight, bleached jeans or shredded cut-offs; and holey T-shirts to match their torn fishnet stockings. "It's a look I've always liked," the designer said backstage. "I keep pictures of it all over my office."

With his brocade pantsuits and gold leather mullet gowns, Decarnin went glam baroque last season. This collection felt more in keeping with his previous Spring show: plenty couture (someone had to attach those safety pins to that white leather bustier one by one, presumably), but with a seriously offhand result. The message on the soundtrack—first, Frank Sinatra crooning, then Sid Vicious croaking "My Way"—would seem to indicate that this is what Decarnin prefers doing. That single-mindedness always gives his clothes energy to burn, but the question will be: Is Balmainia still so strong that women will shell out the serious bucks that a crystal- and metal-studded jacket is going to cost, when the look is so DIY? (After all, she could, as one editor sharply put it, pick apart a Perfecto, re-stitch it, and save herself $25,000.) We'll have to wait and see.