The distressed t-shirt and the American dream have picked up momentum at Balmain for Spring 2011.

After seeing Balenciaga’s structured and crisp futuristic separates this season, I thought we were officially done with the distressed t-shirt and grunge glam that had grasped us all for so long now.

However, presented printed and worn, reversed and flipped, the American flag used throughout the collection was a genius reference to Jasper Johns’ painting Flag from 1954-55 (above image). And I will say, after spurring the military-metallic-chain mail inspired trend that took off around the world, Christophe Decarnin for Balmain is someone to keep an eye on.

Let’s call this homage to plaid, motorcycle jackets, lace up boots, and the red, white, and blue lumberjack chic.

 Whether it is studded, metallic, painted, or kept to a crisp clean this collection is refreshingly, actually, ready-to-wear.