At Balmain, Emmanuelle Alt Is Out, Melanie Ward Is In

Taking the helm as editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue is a bit of a double-edged sword. Yes, the title comes with prestige and influence, but we doubt Emmanuelle Alt isn’t a little sore about giving up those cushy consulting gigs, especially Balmain by Christophe Decarnin. His longtime collaborator now exclusively committed to Paris Vogue, Decarnin has taken on a new partner, choosing none other than high-profile super-stylist Melanie Ward.

Admirers of Ward will remember her as the influential stylist for Helmut Lang in the 1990s, as well as her work with Harper’s Bazaar, her stint with Karl Lagerfeld’s eponymous label and her own fledgling line, Blouson Noir. With Emmanuelle out of the picture, could the days of Balmain‘s garish gold embellishment and astronomical prices for ripped T-shirts be over? We doubt it, but Ward’s penchant for minimalism might nudge the Balmain brand away from its over-the-top opulence. Can we expect some extraneous straps, à la 90s Helmut Lang? Guess we’ll have to wait until the March 3rd show to find out.

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