The last ten years, paradoxically, have seen both the shuttering of the couture divisions at more and more houses, and the resurrection of some of the most venerable maisons as ready-to-wear labels. Lanvin, Balenciaga, and Nina Ricci are once again some of the most important names in fashion, and Balmain, Azzaro, Guy Laroche, and Vionnet have all been relaunched. So it's no surprise that investors are looking to snap up the rights to the labels still confined to the Costume Institute's archives. Last year Diego Della Valle bought Schiaparelli, and now it's been revealed that he's in talks with Giles Deacon to pick up the reigns at the house. We think Elsa would definitely have approved of Deacon stylings like the blood-spurting Bambi print of S/S '08, or the hilarious giant sweaters of F/W '07. And we could certainly see Giles making good use of shocking pink. But is a house that went bankrupt back in 1954 the right place for a young talent? Some designers like Nicolas Ghesquiere at Balenciaga are able to twist their house's legend and update it-- just look at the dresses Nicolas showed on Tuesday, which were archive inspired prints molded over high-tech sports foam. Others, like Christopher Decarnin at Balmain, seem weighed down by the history they've inherited and try to shake things up by giving us...lots of fringe. Are you clamoring to see Schiaparelli, Patou, or even Callot Soeurs version 2.0? Or would you rather see young designers make their own names, not rejuvenate old ones? --ANNA FIELDING GRIGGS
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