Balmain Diffusion Line to Debut at Paris Fashion Week

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Pictured: A screenshot from the Balmain preview video

Fashion House Balmain has announced that they will show a diffusion line entitled Pierre Balmain this weekend at Paris fashion week.  I have to wonder what the founder of the house, Pierre Balmain, who was all about classic, luxurious styles and dressed Ava Gardner would think of this news. Dedicated to producing elegant styles, Pierre Balmain said that “dressmaking is the architecture of movement.”  When he said that, I don’t think he was talking about a line of T-shirts and skinny jeans (like the new diffusion line) which will bear his name.

Today’s announcement proves unequivocally what designer Karl Lagerfeld told CNN about his Macy’s line. “Today in fashion the inexpensive line is as important as the expensive line,” explained Lagerfeld when asked why he decided to work with Macy’s when he is already busy working for Chanel and Fendi.  I always thought that designers should have affordable clothes for consumers, and that was my basic premise when I started The Recessionista in 2008.   When the House of Balmain gets into the game, you know the fashion industry is truly transformed as they embrace thrift as the new chic.

So if you like the quality of Balmain, what can you expect from the lower priced line?  Look for versions of the trademark tailored jackets and slim jeans.  According to The Cut,  there will also be T-Shirts and mini-skirts. Pricing will range from $174 for T-shirts and $944 for suits.  Right, what kind of T-Shirt is worth that amount of money?  There will even be innovative designs like “muscle shirts” for men. (insert sarcasm here) You can see a preview of the clothing in a video released by Balmain starring model Abbey Lee Kershaw and the band Our Mountain. According to Balmain’s Tumblr page, the video is “inspired by the downtown cool, rock sensibility and international lifestyle” Kershaw embodies.   That’s a long way from the “new look” of full skirts with cinched,  small waists designed by Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior after WWII.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.


  1. thenauticalwheeler

    September 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    are muscle shirts really innovative? I guess I will have to wait and see

  2. MH

    September 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I don't think muscle shirts are innovative at all. I don't know why anyone would want one of those from Pierre Balmain for these prices. Especially when you can go to TJ Maxx and get one!

    I'm kind of disappointed by this line, because it doesn't sound special, which I consider Balmain to be. I'd rather go to the Barney's sale and hunt for the luxury line on sale.

  3. jugar mario bros clásico

    September 30, 2011 at 10:44 am

    When he said that, I don't think he was talking about a line of T-shirts and skinny jeans (like the new diffusion line) which will bear his name.