For her Pre-Fall lookbook, Barbara Bui shot Marine Deleeuw in an empty Paris apartment. The designer wanted the unreal-looking model to be in a "real" environment, because Bui's clothes are made for real situations. They're made to be worn. Which is also why she put a lot of thought into making the multilayer looks that dominate the collection easy to wear. The concept was gray suiting with six or seven elements to each outfit. But instead of piling a jacket upon a shirt upon a necklace, Bui developed little tricks that gave the feeling of a lot going on without the typical bulk that accompanies it.
A double vest, for example, was actually one waistcoat paired with a belt that resembled the bottom of another. Dickeys and detachable cuffs created the look of a white button-up underneath a sweatshirt, while denim was patched into wool jackets to give them lightness. When there was volume, it was in the shoulders. A leather dress, fashioned after a bomber jacket, was big up top but curved in at the waist to create an exaggerated shape.
While the three-piece suits looked like the shrunken version of a slick banker's uniform, the masculinity was softened just a bit by tortoiseshell PVC toppers. "It shakes up the gray monochrome," Bui said. Each look was styled with Bui's "mannish" cowboy boots, which have sold briskly over the past few seasons. The sharp footwear epitomizes the aggressive, not-too-precious look Bui typically goes for. But more important, like almost everything else in this collection, the boots are easy to wear.