The house of Balmain is one of legend. Couturier to movie stars and royalty alike, Pierre Balmain set up shop in the Rue Francois following the Second World War. His clientele was a vivacious, immaculate, and elegant woman with just a touch of insouciance. The look he created was undeniably sophisticated and while well rooted in Haute Couture, translated very well to the everyday. This idea of being exclusively elegant but very accessible at the same time is a tradition carried on by all of Pierre Balmain’s successors; including Oscar de la Renta who was Haute Couture Artistic Director from 1993 until 2002. Most recently Christopher Decarnin has seen to carrying the torch, at least for ready-to-wear, and has reintroduced Balmain Homme. We look forward to great things from this illustrious house.

The eponymous French fashion house was a driving force in the world of couture pre WWII. The “architect among dressmakers,” Madeleine Vionnet came from humble beginnings which may have contributed to her views on fashion. Less a style icon and more an activist, Vionnet’s wish was to make beautiful and comfortable clothing for women while fighting the good fight for designer and worker’s rights. Her visionary designs were seen on celebrities like Marlene Dietrich, and influenced many designers along their road to fashion fame. Helmed by Rodolfo Paglialunga, the House of Vionnet is seeing a rebirth in garments and accessories alike.