It's not usually a good sign when a designer opens up with a knit leotard with a cutout at one hip worn over a pair of clingy exercise shorts and heavy tights. Where, for example, might a young woman sport such an outfit, outside of the ballet studio? But there was more to this Vanessa Bruno show than the opening suggested. Dance, or more precisely, the layered and wrapped outfits that dancers wear to rehearse, provided Bruno with an organizing theme for her Fall collection. And if it's hard to picture that first look hanging in the window of her Rue de Castiglione store, her outerwear, starting with a long, icy gray shearling knitted at the hem, will have them lining up.
Already own a trench? Bruno's given her fans a reason to buy a new one in the form of a drop-waist camel leather version or another in tweed with a leather storm flap. She also made some smart moves with her tailoring. Adding a strap to a blazer so it stays on when you wear it tossed over your shoulders isn't a new idea—Helmut Lang did it a decade ago or more—but it's probably new to her girls. As for the season's must-have mixed-media jacket, hers combined crisp gray flannel with a deep leather hem and a ribbed knit back.
There were other things to like here as well, including a ribbed cardigan with leather elbow patches, the floaty printed chiffon dresses, and Bruno's patchwork stacked-heel boots with fur trim. All in all, a strong show from this well-priced Paris favorite.