2010 March 9

Runway Reviews: Isabel Marant, Azzaro, Costume National

Isabel Marant Fall 2010 Isabel Marant Fall 2010
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(PARIS) Isabel Marant
With two stores opening in the United States in 2010, Isabel Marant is ready for her close-up. This longtime favorite of French editors (not to mention shoppers), Marant's Fall offering consisted of loads of future best-sellers, from more straightforward leather motorcycle jackets to brocade pants. Red velvet cropped pants, a faded denim jacket (circa 1990s), and a purple mohair strong-shouldered sweater dress aptly reflected what the chicest sent wants to wear rightthisveryminute. A white rabbit fur coat was equally covetable. Same goes for all those lamé jackets and skirts. Expect to hear more--lots more--from this rapidly-rising star.

How delightful. Vanessa Seward has a very particular aesthetic, and luckily, it's one that proves irresistable to many women. After all, who doesn't aim for elegance injected with a dose of quirky chic? For Fall, she played with tuxedo dressing, masculin/feminin blazers, ponchos, black and white cocktail options, as well as adorable prints designed by Florence Deygas that reflect Seward's cat Monsieur Joe's pawprints. The military-inspired jackets and dresses are ripe for day dressing; as good for wearing with jeans on Vielle du Temple as they are with collants and Chablis at le Bar 228. Very femme shirtdresses with the aforementioned paw print were equally chic, but it's in evening and cocktail categories where Seward shines brightest. On that note, there were splendid bustier tuxedos and raw silk frocks featuring panels of delicate eyelash lace. In a series called "The Mermaid and the Sailor," a stunning white and silver coat featured oversized, scale-like sequins. An entirely embroidered gold lurex rock was just as red carpet-ready.

Costume National
For Fall, Ennio Capasa explored the concept of "morphing," which translated to the use of raw materials mixing and mingling with lean, tailored shapes. Most memorably, laser-cut coats made of everything from felted wool to orgaza were a gently- deconstructed appeal to an urban warrior. Both high-concept and approachable, the beige and black styles will become this season's basic. A series of short day dresses were folded, origami-style, around the body; they nicely balanced the sheepskin biker jackets and lame leather pants. The standout pieces were a jacket and dress treated with a bark-like embroidery made of gold sequins wrapped in voile.