The push/pull of masculine and feminine is shaping up to be one of this season's big stories. Vanessa Bruno cleverly inserted herself in the middle of the conversation today with a strong new collection. With its emphasis on sportswear, it seemed almost tailor-made for the U.S. market, where she announced she'll soon be opening her first permanent shop, in New York.
Bruno started off with the boy stuff: Boxy pinstripe jackets and full, pleated pants matched with color-blocked shirts buttoned all the way up to their collars had a cool swagger. Same goes for the military-sharp coats, some with bold, rubberized stripes at the hems, which will be a hit in stores. Other outerwear evoked a sixties Courrèges feeling with contrast quilted leather shoulders and trim details, a mood that was echoed by skirts with oversize grommets decorating their hems.
On the sweeter side of the designer's story, the spangled shift dresses—tunics, really—that closed the show were way too short. But girly has always been essential to the Bruno brand. She knows her way around a swingy little dress, and there were a couple in graphic blocks of black and white that looked great. Her pleated miniskirts, meanwhile, are another reason we'll be seeing lots of bare legs next fall.