On the second to last day of the Paris shows, with four weeks of fashion in the rearview mirror, we thought we'd uttered all there was to say about boy-for-girl clothes. But then Paul & Joe's Sophie Albou-Mechaly went and put on a show about androgyny. She established the masculine/feminine mood with the first look out: a lace-edged silk camisole paired with pleated wide-wale cords, topped by one of the teddy bear coats that have been turning up on a lot of runways this season. The tailoring, thankfully, got sharper from there, with strong military-inspired coats in charcoal gray or navy with big brass buttons, and nice-looking trousers in a Prince of Wales check or bright yellow wool. On the other side of the coin, printed pajama sets kept the lingerie part of the story going.
Elsewhere, black and gold brocades felt a bit like last year's fixation; still, Albou-Mechaly made a believable case for hers, especially when she cut the brocade into an ankle-grazing skirt and topped it with a slightly oversize sweater. She opted out of using fur at her men's show, but showed no such restraint here. Fur tippets accessorized many of the looks, and she tossed in a patchwork fur coat and vest, too. They looked a bit retro compared to the rest, but they were still cool.