The great thing about designer inspirations is that they don't necessarily have to make complete sense to work in the context of a collection. That would be the case with Barbara Bui's Spring show, for which her ideas ranged from "energy and light" to "women reporters." In your head, you might conjure up a radiant Christiane Amanpour in lotus pose, but on the runway you could see the designer's train of thought. There were flak jacket-inspired pieces—jumpsuits, khaki shirts, silky cargo pants, and, well, jackets—leading to the desert ease of languid silk dresses and blouses, and natural linen shifts and tiny shorts.
Following in the vein of her coats from Fall—and the current trends—Bui also showed leather outerwear pieced with panels of snakeskin and perforated suede. With shades of both biker and aviator, these also dovetailed with the chic and nomadic foreign correspondent she imagined. The necessary counterpoint to all that relatively rugged and sporting utility was a dash of gold lamé at the end of the show. After all, this Florence of Arabia may be a professional, but her life can't be all work and no play. Bui also added a slightly more low-key dash of flash in geometric sequin embroideries on those linen bits. Strangely, a few were reminiscent of Louis Vuitton's insignia, which could have been a coincidence, or perhaps a reference to luggage? Either way, it was the sole true head-scratcher in an otherwise solid collection.