New looks are in store for some iconic labels as a crop of esigners-for-hire take over the collections of Balmain cou- ture,Pucci,Rochas and Halston. Laurent Mercier,who esigned Balmain ready-to-wear for a year, will premiere his first couture col- lection for the house in January, taking over from Oscar de la Renta, who gave up his reign as the Concorde Couturier to focus on his signature line back in New York. Christian Lacroix,who showed his first Pucci collection in September to impressive reviews,is expected to continue building the revival of the print house,while the Paris house of Rochas is looking to pump up its profile by hiring Belgian designer Olivier Theyskens as its new artistic director.

Back in New York,red-carpet regular Bradley Bayou is hard at work on a new look for Halston as the fifth esigner in as many years to take on one of America ’s most legendary brands.

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