Androgyny isn't a word that has passed many lips this season, but it was a mini-theme on the first day of the Paris shows, beginning with Bruno Pieters.
Here, masculine fareboxy, loose camel jackets and pleat-front pants, oversize trenches, and skinny ties not unlike those favored by the Belgian designer himselfshared the runway with rounder, more feminine shapes, like a shift in a black-and-gold overscale houndstooth, a short cape in stiff silver lamé, and a couple of blouson sweaters. Standouts on the male side of the equation included a jacket with what appeared to be a built-in waistcoat, and, on the other end, a soft, dolman-sleeve cocoon coat. A cropped blazer worn over a tuxedo shirt and floor-length skirt with a knit scarf wrapped obi-style at the waist fell somewhere in the middle.
Sometimes the show's mixed message became a little fuzzy. Unwieldy layers (jacket over turtleneck over pleated Elizabethan ruff; coat over skirt over skinny pants) obscured the beauty of the clean, precise lines of Pieters' tailoring.