Balmain to Replace Christophe Decarnin with Unknown Designer

Photo: Imaxtree
A look the Balmain Fall 2011 collection

Dior may be making us sweat over John Galliano's replacement, but Balmain is wasting no time.

Following the April 6 announcement that creative director Christophe Decarnin—rumored to be seeking treatment for a "nervous breakdown"—was leaving Balmain, sources tell Elle U.K. the French fashion house will be naming his successor in the next two or three days.

And in a development that's sure to spoil our betting pools, the label will reportedly choose an "unknown" designer rather than a big-name talent.

"They’re going to choose someone unknown," a source tells the magazine. "Christophe was an unknown when he came to Balmain, and the owners want to support lesser-known design talent."

That presumably takes Carine Roitfeld out of the running (wishful thinking at best), but will not-so-household-name Melanie Ward, the stylist and designer who was reportedly responsible for much of the Fall 2011 collection, still stand a chance?

Luckily we won't have to wait long to find out.

In the meantime, check out the full Balmain Fall 2011 collection.