I must express my agreement with Fashion Foie Gras on the point that Paris Fashion Week seems to be cursed this season. If there ever was a story to knock Galliano's catastrophe at Dior off the top spot, this could be it. Christophe Decarnin has been the mind behind Balmain since 2005, pumping out exquisitely embellished collection and collection. At the AW11 collection showed today in Paris, he was nowhere to be seen. There was no sheepish appearance on the catwalk after the show, or even a peek of his face, which sparked an expected internet riot of rumours.
It has been revealed on Hintmag that Decarnin disappeared from Balmain HQ one day in January and was said to never be returning, rumours are that he was hospitalised for depression or mental illness.
M. Alain Hivelin, the owner of Balmain stated, “he’s tired, after working on the collection," But is that enough of an excuse to miss his own fashion show? "No, he’s NOT retired. He’s just tired. He didn’t go to bed until 5am. He’s not here, he’s resting,”
Another rumour is that Decarnin didn't even touch with AW11 collection, and that it had been entirely designed by his in-house team and stylist Melanie Ward. But a source at WWD has revealed that was in fact involved in the design process just as much as ever, but recently checked out of hospital after being treated for severe depression.
Here are some snaps of the Balmain AW11 collection shown today in Paris: