Before she left for the Nina Ricci show, Leah and I were discussing Balmain over GChat. Her review will be published later on today, but it wasn't the clothes that we were talking about. It was the fact that designer Christophe Decarnin was MIA at the show:
Leah: other interesting thing he didn't come out after the show the lights went down before the last girl even exited and after the finale everyone was kinda confused and sorta sat there waiting for him and then he didn't come out
According to a report by Hint, Decarin's been stuck in a mental hospital since January, and he no longer works at Balmain. The house's new stylist Melanie Ward (who replaced Emmanuelle Alt when she became EIC of Vogue Paris) and Decarin's design team reportedly produced this collection.
To be frank, this is crazy. We love to gossip--about designer musical chairs, Blake Lively--but mental health is serious, serious stuff. We hope it's not true for Decarin's sake, but given Hint's track record for reporting factual gossip long before the mainstream media picks it up, we have a feeling they're pretty sure about this. What a sad, strange week for fashion.
UPDATE 1: WWD reports that Decarnin was recently hospitalized for depression and that he did have a say in the collection.