Balmain F/W 08-09
If you haven't seen Balmain's Fall 08 show, we can sum it up in just a few words: shoulders, sequins, and skin-tight pants. In short, it's sexy, but not in the stereotypical, obvious (think: cleavage and pointy stiletto pumps), red carpet way. The stunning One Shouldered Dress with Chainmail ($13,000) has a flattering single strap silhouette and rouched fabric, giving the dress a gorgeously Grecian effect. Of course, this being Balmain means that the frock's classic elements get a modern twist, via a body-conscious fit and disco-shimmer chainmail side panel. The collection also offers stripped down, slightly gritty pieces, like Leather Biker Trousers ($4410) that are sure to be the must-have piece amongst the millionaire model set-at least the ones who live in East Village! Leather leggings aside, Decarnin also showed lots of animal print pieces (glittery zebra jackets, Red Snake Skin Print Biker Jeans ($3096)), sleeveless shirts galore (simple tanks, sequined tops), and a perfect pair of plaid pants. The footwear was equally yummy, as every look came down the runway accessorized with a pair of Fringed Leather Boots ($1025). With all of these items in mind, we set out to find the best Balmain-style pieces at an affordable price point and are wholly proud of what we sleuthed out. Hopefully you will be inspired by our finds too!
1. Gryphon Sequin Jacket ($595)
A little show-stopping shimmer is a necessary part of any Balmain-inspired outfit, so we were thrilled when we found this brilliant Gryphon jacket. Available in indigo, black, or the above shown silver, this sequined number has a modern slim fit (so you won't look too eighties) and would look amazing with a snug pair of black biker pants.
2. Kenneth Jay Lane Snake Cuff($264)
While it's not likely that we're going to buy the Snake Skin Print Biker Jeans ($3148) any time soon, we can add a serpentine hint to our outfits with this KJL cuff. The bracelet's shiny black enamel body sets off the pave reptile perfectly.
3. Kova & T Jessie Tank ($125)
Decarnin showed non-sparkly shirts too, in fact, he chose to pair much of his standout collection with simple white or black tees. Temper your bolder Balmain-inspired pieces with an understated top (to show off those shoulders!) like this pocket tank from Kova & T.
4. Baker's Flare Boot ($129.95)
These runway ready boots from Baker's inspired this entire story, thanks to their fabulous fringed look. They have a four-inch-plus heel, come in Balmain black or tan suede, and hit a little above the ankle. They're so similar to the fashion house's version, it's amazing!
5. Alloy Plaid Skinny Pants ($34.50)
How wonderful are these tartan trousers? They remind us of two things: the red-and-black checked Balmain pants Kate Moss can't stop wearing and a much-beloved Dollhouse pair we owned in junior high. The tight fit is essential (baggy plaid=golf course) and since they make a big statement, keep the rest of your outfit minimalist.
6. Alexander Wang Distressed Leather Belt ($176)
One of our favorite designers, Alexander Wang, produces work with a model-off-duty vibe, so naturally we wanted to include a piece in today's story, as Balmain's fall collection has a similarly cool spirit. Per the French fashion house's runway, belts were utilitarian and unfussy, just like this distressed leather option from Wang.
7. Topshop Animal Pencil Skirt ($80) and Lace Print Pencil Skirt ($60)
Right now, Topshop is stocked loads of ripped-from-the-runway items, like these two pencil skirts. Whether you prefer the bold red tiger print or the slightly more demure lace version, either way, you'll look very Balmain.
8. Alice + Olivia Sequined One Shoulder Dress($495)
The moment we saw this sparkly one-shouldered dress we knew it was an ideal piece for our Inspired By: Balmain story. The black sequined frock has single, wide strap and the short length will show off your legs admirably. Wear it with a tuxedo blazer and some statement earrings for a killer party look.