Christophe Decarnin was not present to take his bow at the end of theBalmain show. The designer was absent under doctor’s orders, afterhaving recently been released from the hospital, where he was said tohave been treated for depression. A Balmain spokesman said Decarnin wasinvolved in the design. This season, he worked with a new stylist,Melanie Ward, who replaced Emmanuelle Alt, who is focusing full-time onFrench Vogue. Whatever the division of labor between designer andstylist, it made for a strong, cleaned-up take on Balmain’s standard funand flash. Aesthetically, it was a welcome change to a look due for abit of evolution.


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