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2012 October 2

Paris Spring 2013: Chanel, Valentino

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Chanel Spring 2013 Chanel Spring 2013
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(PARIS) Chanel
When there's no smoke, there's fire. Karl Lagerfeld's cheeky-chic Spring collection paraded down a path lined by wind turbines, as if to extinguish any notion of Le Smoking (which he pointedly promised there'd be none of on the invitation) and infuse the world-weary front row with a breath of fresh air. The collection was full of pearls—wrapped with abandon and worn as chokers and bracelets, tacked onto suiting, used singularly as buttons and closures. The new shape? A boxy, ultra-cropped jacket, hitting at the top of the ribs and worn with a trim sheath. The shoes are striped, with a groovy platform and criss-crossed ankle straps, while the legs are almost universally bared. Sweatshirt-shaped tunics, with full arms and cropped sleeves, were done in a pink windowpane print, to adorable effect. Dainty blue and white tweeds, chambray dresses, and stonewashed denim jackets added to the unabashedly girly vibe—youthful, buoyant, and rife with charm.

A slightly more pared-down sensibility did Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli well this season, resulting in an exceptionally light Spring that still went heavy on the drama. What other designers can make prim and proper look so dark and sexy? The little black dress was a recurring theme, rendered best (and most often) in a featherweight shirt dress with a white collar and cuffs. White lace was another key motif, rendered beautifully in a hip-length, open jacket and a slew of bride-perfect full-length gowns. Nude, moss, burgundy rounded out the palette, while a bit of brocade and python (used brilliantly in a PVC raincoat) provided even more texture. As always, the technical feats were impressive, but this season, equally so was the wearability of every look on the runway. One of each, please.

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