BRANDOLINI SAYS BALMAIN WILL OPT FOR STUDIO, NOT DESIGNER

PARIS — Balmain managing director Georgina Brandolini Friday denied rumors that she was close to hiring a new designer and said that she planned, instead, to install a new studio to organize the collection that will be shown here in October.
As reported in these columns, Balmain fired designer Gilles Dufour last month on grounds that his use of the words “bitch” and “whore” on outfits in his show was offensive to the house and detrimental to the brand name.
Dufour has told friends that he plans to file an unfair dismissal suit against the house, but did not return phone calls seeking comment.
“We have not yet received official notification of a suit but I am sure we will,” Brandolini said. “I have decided that I am going to hire a new studio of young people — no one who had anything to do with Gilles — and they will produce the next collection.”
Since Dufour left, there have been persistent rumors that the house was close to signing a new designer and several different names, including that of Alber Elbaz, who designed YSL Rive Gauche for three seasons and left the house in March, were mentioned.