Pierre Balmain was born in St Jean de Maurienne, Savoie in 1914. He owed his early training to the two greatest designers of the time Molyneux and Lucien Lelong opening his own Haute Couture house immediately following the war, in the autumn of 1945, on the Rue Francois 1er in Paris. Clients quickly flocked to Balmain, and were thrilled to discover the new image he had created for women. The Balmain woman had shed the last vestiges of wartime hardship with abundant insouciance and charm, and heralded a return to opulence in richly embroidered gowns and ensembles.
American author Gertrude Stein, a close friend of Balmain"s, saluted the advent of this New French Style in her writing. This image of an active, irrepressible, perfectly groomed, elegant woman with a touch of independence in her nature took root and was embodied in the Jolie Madame, emblematic of the nineteen fifties.
The 1960s were years of renewal for Pierre Balmain, who used fabrics scupturally for the creation of uncluttered designs accenting pure structure and contrasts of cut and style. This was also a richly productive period in the field of costuming for stage and screen. In addition, Balmain designed personal wardrobes for numerous international stars, including Brigitte Bardot, Marlene Dietrich, and Katherine Hepburn to name just a few. This period also marked Balmain"s first meeting with Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand, who chose him to be her personal couturier.
The name Pierre Balmain stands for a unique concept of elegance, a clientele of royalty and film stars, and a fashion hallmark recognized throughout the world. The ready to wear division, founded in the 1970s, has gradually made an impact on the market and is now registering significantly satisfying results, with some 220 licenses worldwide.
With the disappearance of Pierre Balmain in 1982, the torch was passed to Erik Mortensen his personal assistant since 1951 and his closest colaborator who maintained the House"s traditions while developing and updating styles and designs in the spirit of its founder. In recognition of this achievement, Mortensen won the France Haute Couture Golden Thimble Awards for his Automn Winter 1983/1984 collection. Erik Mortensen then went onto his second French Haute Couture Golden Thimble Award, presented at the Palais Galliera on 31 July 1987, for his Autumn Winter 1987/1988 collection. When Erik Mortensen left the House of Balmain in July 1990, he was replaced by youthful Herve Pierre, who served as designer from 1990 through 1993 for both the Haute Couture and ready to wear collections.
In january 1993, internationally renowned American designer Oscar de la Renta signed his first Haute Couture collection for Pierre Balmain and has now rejuvinated the line while respecting the colours, the fluidity and elegance of the Jolie Madame esprit.
Haute Couture Women"s Ready to Wear Men"s Fashion Perfumes (Ivoire, Jolie Madame, Miss Balmain, Vent Vert, Monsieur Balmain, Ebene) Accessories
For Fall 2012 designers are inspired by a wide range of influences, from the elaborate details of brocade and metallic gold embellishments to the dynamic mix of military chic and power pantsuits. Colo