FA2L is for anyone who cares about beautiful things–clothing, shoes, accessories, home furnishings–and the interconnected tribes of those who make, sell, market and desire them. If something speaks to you, buy it now or hold your peace: there are links in each story, so the item you want is just a click away. I'd like to hear from you, too: please view my profile, use the email button and send me your comments.MG

Monday, February 15, 2010

Balmain Homme: Shop Now For...Autumn 2010?

Skinny, fashion-obsessed men the world over are chasing a new status brand: Balmain. After rapidly resuscitating the moribund label's women's business (and landing W's prime December '09 cover with Demi Moore in bronze warrior-princess regalia straight off Balmain's Spring '10 runway), house designer Christophe Decarnin is giving it to the guys. His subversive, almost twisted take on high-end fashion ignores standard notions of luxury and goes for the jugular, combining Hedi Slimane's slim cuts with grungier sensibilities akin to early Marc Jacobs. And it's working: after just three seasons (in a down economy, no less), he's built a rabid following for astronomically-priced motocross jeans and stealthily chic outerwear.

But that's not the only news. Such is the demand for these clothes, and so high are the price tags, Balmain is letting men pre-order items from its Fall '10 collection (even as New York designers are still in the throes of showing next autumn's offerings) through an arrangement with Italy's Luisa Via Roma. Click on the store's name in the foregoing sentence: this entire look, above–quilted bomber with leather shoulders, checked shirt, jeans and boots–can be reserved now, for delivery in late September. Which leaves plenty of time to pay off the $5,000-plus charge you'll encounter on your credit card statement.