Is that what we’re calling it these days?” asked a colleague as I rattled off my day’s schedule. No, no, not Balmain. Pierre Balmain—as in the younger diffusion line sibling of the bling-ed out and be-shouldered über-babe’s fave label. World, meet Pierre.
Actually, PB, which debuted yesterday in Paris in a presentation, is supremely low-key and understated. There’s not a sequin in the mix. But there is quite a bit that the girls who obsess over Balmain season after season will want to buy and wear—whether they can only aspire to the big-sister line’s demographic or not. For girls, the look is Paris Voguette Casual. The line’s signature jeans are plain, black, and skinny with trapunto motorcycle panels and silver zips at the pockets and ankle. They’re perfect with a little metallic leather bomber or black motorcycle jacket. A little body-con black jersey dress seems almost modest despite the slash at the bustline. Though there’s a fun bit of trash and splash in zebra-print jeans and a gingham top, not to mention the PB logo writ large on the back of a baseball jersey. The line has a unisex-y echo. For boys, the black jeans and motorcycle jacket get repeated, and a few more tailored blazers and sharply cut button-downs are in the mix.
On loop at the label’s Second Arrondissement showroom was a video shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin of model Abbey Lee Kershaw, her boyfriend, Matthew Hutchinson, and their band Our Mountain racing around Manhattan all kitted out in the line. They look, appropriately enough, like grunged-out rockers. They also look, appropriately enough, pretty cool. It’s not hard to imagine new Balmainiacs being minted after a viewing or two. That makes it the rare fashion film that actually makes sense.