Before her show, Isabel Marant said that it's been hard to keep her New York store, which opened this spring, stocked with merchandise: "As soon as a new shipment comes in, pfff, it's gone." The designer's special skill is sniffing out how the cool girls want to dress before they know it themselves, and that has made her pointy-toed bow pumps a very frequent sight at the shows this month. One glance at today's catwalk and there's little doubt the front-row types will next be angling to wear her pointy-toed slouchy boots with friendship-bead anklets.
Marant took her first trip to California earlier this year and fell in love with its chill vibe. This collection, she said, was an ode to surfing and the early days of skateboarding. That seventies feeling meant there were cutoffs in denim or corduroy with everything from bright check button-downs to shrunken fisherman sweaters to lacy tanks. Sports references came fast and furious: A vintage-looking silk baseball jacket in embroidered washed silk was followed by nipped and fitted rugby-stripe dresses and slightly oversize football-jersey tees. On the more girly side, Marant's signature cropped jacket was cut from red bandanna fabric, and a strapless dress was smocked from a Liberty-esque purple floral print.
High concept it isn't. But with her usual acuity, Marant has landed on a look that meshes with a major Spring trend. If you can remember back that far, California cool got a lot of play in New York. It looked believable here in Paris, and it's entirely likely it will do gangbusters in her stores.