The downward spiral began when Victoria Beckham wore it. Then we read that Moscow housewives are "shipping them in by the truckload" - the official death knell. We're talking, of course, about Balmania - the fastest spreading fashion virus ever. Let's talk about the "design genius" that made Christophe Decarnin famous in the first place: Very suspect looking shoulders on Michael Jackson jackets. And how about the ten, eleven thousand dollar price tags? We didn't understand until we decided that editors rave and obsess because mere mortals simply cannot have them. And really, neither can actual journalists - unless of course they're married to a tycoon. So they fawn over Balmain, even though Decarnin makes his darlings look like fashion robot victims. A point driven home at Selfridges this morning when three very cool London girls stood over the (full) Balmain rack and squealed,"Ewww!" --CHARLEY B.