Photos from Fashion156, WWD, Style

Much has been made of Balmain’s show during Paris Fashion Week this week as designer Christophe Decarnin channeled punk rock to create his youthful collection -complete with quintessential safety pins. While we did like the collection, the argument, as it goes from various fashion sources is that it was actually too punk to be real punk, or rather, the anti-punk punk. Even Associated Press couldn’t get over it, stating that “It’s a pretty safe bet that the late Clash frontman Joe Strummer would be rolling in his grave to see the safety pin become a luxury status symbol for the It Girl set.”

Punk grunge is now “haute lowbrow.”

Balmain, for those uninitiated with the brand, is known for attracting young It Girl celebs. The punk version at this show, with its tattered American flag tank tops, and shiny skinny leg jeans (which looks like the latest from American Apparel) isn’t new at all. Frankly, our street report from youth culture that we ran before Paris Fashion Week even started showed the source of true originality: That designers are copping the streets, and not the other way around.

We’ve long been saying that youth culture’s DIY aesthetics, coupled with utilitarian needs, is at the source of many new fashion trends today. The mix of fast-fashion, thrift/vintage, and one or two high-end pieces (and sneakers), and a load of accessories are what have created this mix of eras and a strong dose of punk rock attitude.

Lepoard prints, studs, and skinny jeans–quintessential rocker style.

Descriptions of the Balmain show such as my favorite “haute lowbrow,” suggest that the collection was somewhat original, down-and-dirty but still “glamorous.” But denim cut-off short shorts, faded skinny jeans, leather jackets with piercing studs isn’t so much “glamorous” (until you see the price tag) as it is DIY punk rock.

Youth culture in America achieves these looks with a mix of ingenuity, American Apparel, thrift store finds, and Dad’s old leather jacket.

Ripped tights and micro skirts–a major trend at last summer’s music festivals.

Strategically slashed tops and saftey pins with rolled-up denim is street-core punk, but definitely not glamorous.

Sorry to say, but these hot pants look very similar to what’s also offered at American Apparel.

Daisy Duke/Lolita corsets are back. Actually, they never really went away.

American flag themes abound in the Balmain collection.