After WWII, Pierre Balmain designed classic, luxurious gowns for stars like Ava Gardner and Brigitte Bardot. These days, the design house is run by Christophe Decarnin, and his vision for spring 2010 is a ripped-up, edgy luxe bordering on Derelicte.

I love the different incarnations of breastplates, corsets and bustiers we've been seeing on the runway this year, and this one feels sort of Joan-Of-Arc-goes-clubbing. In a good way!

My friend J and I used to play "hip or homeless?" in the 90s. This would have been a mind-scrambler. I'll bet that T-shirt costs more than $150. Derelicte chic is really bizarre, and just makes me want to say that I can derelick my own balls thank you very much.

Chainmail? Or toga? Little-known fact: After the fall of Ancient Rome, everyone went to hear the Ting Tings play.

The tiny shorts and the Napoleonic jacket look like they've been dredged out of a river, for an ensemble that's dripping with cool.

A simple tank and jeans become not-so-simple with luxe fabrications.

Faux-punk! A shrunken leather jacket and tiny shredded shorts — taking a thrifting/DIY aesthetic and making it high fa$hion.

The cobbled-together leather — with grommets and lacing — is a little bit BDSM, a little medieval and very tough. It's paired with a wispy metallic skirt, for a mix of hard and soft.

Part Cyrsta from Ferngully; part Tina Turner in Beyond Thunderdome.

Spotted at Balmain: French vogue's Carine Roitfeld, in a subdued ensemble (for her).

Also spotted: Rihanna, who looked pretty Mad Max in the "Run This Town" video.

[Images via Getty.]