Some of the prints and fabrics in Paul & Joe's women's collection will look familiar to those who saw the label's men's show. The crossover, said designer Sophie Albou-Mechaly, is a given; why design two completely unrelated collections?
Naturally, materials like tricolor tweed and a botanical print have been rejigged as womenswear—an off-the-shoulder halter dress, short shorts, or a tailored blazer (there's still the boy's version for people who prefer oversized). Albou-Mechaly also showed skirts: The designer said that midi length is new for her, as is the shorter, stiffer, ruffled bonded style. There were a few new, diametrically opposed prints, too—a rough sketch of horses and a Frank Stella-esque geometric pattern. They added some arty interest to the core French preppy fare. And Albou-Mechaly didn't stop there; riffing on the men's nautical theme, she plunged underwater with maxi dresses, heather gray T-shirts, and denim shirts emblazoned with cartoonish seashells sprouting dominatrix legs (in French, a coque is a shell and a coquette is a flirt). Translation: double entendre design.
Albou-Mechaly was keen to share the news about her diffusion line, Paul & Joe Sister: It has Disney's blessing to use archived sketches of Bambi and Thumper on tees and sweats. Another label already enlisted Bambi for Fall, but Albou-Mechaly is a pro when it comes to trend-spotting.