Balmain Embellished Belt and Skirt: High Fashion or Craft project?!?!

balmainbelt.jpgI am SO OVER the entire fashion industry fawning over Christophe Decarnin of Balmain. Okay, so the gorgeous draped dresses with rock and roll hardware was very cool but it cost as much as a Mercedes! Let’s get real here. I am reading the Golden Age of Couture right now and the beautiful couture gowns by Balmain in the 50’s are tear inducing. The craft of couture has seriously declined in modern years yet the costs continue to escalate– I don’t get it!

My friend Chloe picked up a Balmain jacket from the FW 09 collection at a cool $22,000 and multiple t-shirts at $8,000 (yes, t-shirts, not even real blouses!?!?). She tried to convince me that the craftsmanship of Balmain bedazzle is much superior to that of my 8 year old goddaughter’s but I beg to differ. You have no idea what an 8 year old with a bedazzle gun can achieve! But I’ll have to take her word for it because I do not plan on finding out for myself. US Weekly Fashion Director Sasha Charnin Morrison agrees with me and eschewed the Balmain studded sandals for a pair at H & M for $179.

As for this belt (at a whooping $1,530)– you can have the Hermes Collier de chien belt for less– a way better look and investment. For me, it’s also much wiser to invest in vintage Haute Couture– I get mine from Cameron Silver of Decades. He knows my measurements and ships me items on approval overnight.   And seriously, nothing matches vintage Haute Couture from the golden age!

What do you think of Balmain by Christophe Decarnin? High Fashion or Craft project? Balmain at


  1. kamo
    May 29, 2009 / 7:30 am

    i think all of fashion is like this – everyone has their “limits” and anything above that seems ridiculous, this is just your limit. for others, it might be more than $50 for a pair of shoes *shrugs*

    i take a very “thoreau” stance on things: if you think the item is worth the time it would take to make that amount of money, go for it. there is obviously a very large range of quality in fashion, but at some point price will escalate far beyond true value. so i agree that this balmain is not worth $22k in terms of sheer value, or ouch-my-wallet-hurts value, while the high prices of couture at least reflect the time and talent spent producing them. i’ve said this before, but being a designer, it is usually the goal to have the highest quality for the lowest price, but this usually (sadly) doesn’t translate to clothing, even though they are just as much about art/production/economics as say, furniture.

  2. May 29, 2009 / 2:14 pm

    Those Balmain items are something you can DIY for less than a hundred dollars. 22k can buy a house in my country. For real.

  3. Jennifer
    May 31, 2009 / 10:43 am

    I think Kamo is right on. Particularly with high-end designers, the value of items usually goes way beyond the price of raw materials, craftsmanship and even design. Their value is mostly intangible, thus their high price. And somebody must be willing to pay for it, because they are selling.

    I do think that whatever we are willing to spend, we have to keep in mind that spending is excatly what we are doing. Fashion is our guilty pleasure, but it is not an investment, regardless of whether it is vintage Balmain or super modern Christophe Decarnin. It gives us pleasure in different ways, though.

  4. July 1, 2009 / 3:56 pm

    Woah. I never realized it costs so much to dress up like a female Napoleon.

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