Fashion & Style: Ladies, brace yourselves. The 80s are returning. No, not in gravity defying, Aqua Net-saturated hair (yet, at least) but with the shoulder pad. One of the most unlikely comeback kids startled Paris fashion week last fall in the Spring 2009 line by Christophe Decarnin's Balmain. But before you all run to the back of your closets to retrieve your 80s power suits, a few distinctions should be made.
There is a striking difference in Decarnin's use of the shoulder pad from what we feared would return. The small bump in the shoulder is applied to saucy, drummer boy jackets, à la Sgt. Pepper and Michael Jackson, and are paired with tattered, acid wash jeans, all while teetering on studded and diamanté laden sandals. With Madonna pumping through the speakers, there was no denying at the opening of Paris fashion week that a new take on attitude was pounding the runway in Decarnin's savage and spectacular designs.
Since their debut last fall, the pads show no sign of stopping as they also appeared in Decarnin's Fall/Winter 2009 collection. The revitalization of the look is only heating up, already adorning stars such as Jennifer Connelly (who wore the stunning sequined emerald green mini dress which sported the pads) and Gweneth Paltrow (who took a more classic approach with a Balmain white silk blazer on top of a white dress, the shoulder pads giving her a nice angled frame).
Decarnin's Balmain combines the grit with the glam in what has been called "shameless pop-bedazzled energy' and his Parisian couture-level skills take an extreme, sassy garment the next step to brilliantly executed, ready-to-wear fashion. It can be sure that Decarnin's Balmain has, once again, set the stage for a look we'll soon be seeing a lot more of.
For LxM Kate Prihoda