Paris Fashion Week kicks off in style

Balmain and Balenciaga make it an ultra-cool start to Paris Fashion Week

All those bleached, ripped denim jeans in the shops at the moment? Those jackets with exaggerated shoulders? That’s down to designer Christophe Decarnin, whose Balmain label is the last word in cool right now.

Ever lusted after the fashion-forward outfits rocked by Jennifer Connolly on the red carpet? Those are courtesy of Balmain, too, which might explain the hoards of fans desperately trying to blag their way into Decarnin’s Paris Fashion Week show yesterday.

For the lucky few who made it in, the fight was worth it, and not just because they were sitting in the same place Gianni Versace used to parade his couture collections, aka the swimming pool at The Ritz.

Continuing the trend seen last week in Milan for all things sparkly, next season’s Balmain dress comes dripping in Swarovski crystals and a hemline to make even Britney blush.

Asymmetric necklines, so adored by Hollywood’s starlet set right now, also featured, albeit toughened up with spike-heeled ankle boots.

The Balmain signature jacket was back again, still featuring statement shoulders, but had a more sophisticated edge than we’ve seen in previous collections, crafted in the mind of a classic tuxedo.

Balmain wasn’t the only show with a hardcore cult following yesterday, Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière was also on runway duty, this time in the lavish surroundings of the Hôtel de Crillon (no chilly, downmarket tents for these boys), while Rick Owens looked to the dark side with his sci-fi collection of all black or all-white uncompromisingly futuristic outfits.

SEE ALL THE BALMAIN PHOTOS HERE

WATCH THE BALMAIN SHOW HERE

Report from Carla Bevan in Paris

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