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2012 March 2

Paris Fall 2012: Balmain, Nina Ricci, Barbara Bui

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(PARIS) Balmain
If you were worried about the fate of Balmain in the post-Decarnin area, you needn't be: Olivier Rousteing is doing just fine. His Fall collection respected the rocker vibe that Decarnin so meticulously cultivated while infusing it with some real-world wearability. (The skirt selection is no longer micro-micro-mini.) A boxier silhouette, even when used in jewel-laden tunics and jackets, felt terrifically modern against slouchy trousers and ultra-lean velvet leggings. The ornate ornamentation? Lifted from Fabergé egg patterns, to brilliant effect--and given the cuts of choice, sans a whiff of preciousness. 

Nina Ricci 
A little bit of work, a lot of play, and plenty of pretty are on tap for Fall at Nina Ricci, with a smidge of morning-after rumpling action, courtesy of the sheer lace-trimmed underpinnings and nubby, ladylike, often flare-skirted suits. The studied but soft-focused elegance came through in unexpected pairings. See: a shimmery aubergine jumper, slim through the legs and cropped just south of the knees, topped with a deliciously vampy fur, cut to the same length, in a deeper, darker version of the same hue. Add those blackberry lips to the mix and this is a boudoir-to-boardroom scenario worth emulating. 

Barbara Bui  
Polished femme with a whiff of the bohemian (say, a gauzy long skirt) and gamine, skinny trou in shades of white, mustard seed, shimmery gunmetal, and black filled Bui's newest spate of elegant togs. Caplets and cropped coats got trotted out, the latter got a vertical quilting treatment set on a diagonal drape, for a touch of a cocoon silhouette. Pitch-perfect sheer white blouses peeked out from beneath, draped with feminine but unfussy black bows. Gold belts throughout reclaimed the hip-slung region as a prime place to accessorize; metallics in gold as well as a shimmery olive and gradations of bronze got plastered onto bombers and diaphanous dresses. A flash of leopard print, plus a tiger motif, made cameos for the spotlight-inclined. Slouchy camel hobos and tobacco tassels tempered the bling factor a bit. Oh, Bui! 




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