Balmain snaps up another British designer
Hot on the heels of the last Central Saint Martin's fashion starlet to be swept up by the Paris fashion world, Stella McCartney, is British trained designer Andrew Gn, who has been appointed as artistic director of the ready-to-wear collection at the house of Pierre Balmain.

Gn (pronounced Gen) was born in Singapore, but came to London to train at the world's most prestigious fashion college. He has been showing his own label in Paris since spring 1993. Before that, he worked for Emanuel Ungaro. The designer will continue to produce his own label, now on sale at Harvey Nichols. His strength lies in producing beautifully crafted knitwear, but undoubtedly the company directors at Hivelin (owners of Balmain) know they have hired a talented all-rounder who will inject the required modernity into the label, which was set up in 1946 by the late Pierre Balmain. Alain Hivelin says: "The first reason we hired him was because of talent, as was the second reason and the third reason."

Gn's first collection will be available next spring from Balmain stores in Paris, Geneva, Moscow, Dubai, and Taiwan, but he will not be showing on the catwalk until next March. The Haute Couture line at the house of Balmain (shown in Paris next week) will continue in the hands of Oscar de la Renta, an old-school designer who has directed the line since October 1992 and who keeps American socialites supplied with glittering ballgowns.