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DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Balmain

The grand couturier of high end evolution has grown through the designing of Balmain. Created by the sophistication of Pierre Balmain in the early 1900s, the collections are historically defined at the root of style through the “architecture of movement.”

Words: Jeremy Clayton

Although its origins rest in women’s fashion, Balmain has become one of the most sought after labels in the high end world of men’s fashion as well. In 2005 the Parisian label was taken over by Christophe Decarnin and has since spiraled into the closets of Hollywood, jet setters and stylish rogues looking for uncanny differentiation within style. Today, Balmain’s men’s collections grab every inkling of attention, while paying homage to primary outerwear for the perfect man. Between the traditional aspects of tailored suits to the newfound glories of jackets, the impeccable label is setting the new standard for menswear.

Since it’s resurgence, Balmain contributed early on to the popularity of integrating tees. Their printed t-shirts are often times either covered with animalistic designs characterizing strength, or are seen with the recognizable “B” emblem somewhere across the shirt.

But perhaps the progression of Balmain can be found in their accessories for men, which are the most distinguished when it comes to footwear, leather belts, sunglasses, and colognes. The latest scent to come from the favored label is the Carbone de Balmain. The spicy and modern fragrance produces a scent of black figs and woods for the high-octane man bent on the specifics of his appearance. Balmain is also known for their dark-colored, calfskin boots that give off a rock star vibe, but can still be worn by the conventional man when done right. Calfskins and leathers can also be found on large-sized belts with protruding buckles. Balmain has also dabbled into the concepts of unisex eyewear. There recent collaborations with Oliver Peoples boasted a more modern style of the double bridge aviator shades with teardrop lens shapes and fluid top bars.

The true core of the Balmain label resides in grandiose jackets and denim jeans. The winter season of the collections are marketed as one of the strongest collections, as garments are topped with warm pea coats, duffels and shearlings. Set out to make the ultimate leather jacket, the designer label’s form-fitting bombers and varsitys unite an updated version of traditional styles.

The simple and natural qualities of Balmain outerwear lies in their comfort. The large gold buttons, exaggerated collars and waist-cutting jackets are worshiped amongst the fashion savvy. One of the most popular pieces is the Flannel and Leather Jacket. The varsity jacket is suitably smooth and obscure. Since the first men’s collection was introduced at the Paris fashion shows in 2009, Balmain’s stretch and distressed denims, and biker jeans culminate the lining trend of cool. Filled with shape and structure, the 2011 Fall collection shows a grungier approach to the present badass designs.

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