Somber colors are having a bit of a moment thanks to the popularity of Lisbeth Salander. While Manuela Arcari's dark designs (she's always favored shadowy shades) for Ter et Bantine
aren't quite badass enough for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
, the clothing consistently has a suggestion of the subversive. Arcani's pre-fall collection articulated a "severe femininity" via concise silhouettes and sturdy fabrics patchworked together. You could imagine the no-frills T&B girl, never one for ostentation, slipping through the streets in a neat overcoat that combined a patent bodice with haircalf sleeves and collar. Other subtly sophisticated wardrobe staples included an easy taffeta sweatshirt and slim pencil skirts. This season, the Italian label is adding similarly pragmatic accessories to its repertoire. Of note were the holographic kitten heel pumps with thin ankle straps, which added a touch of pizzazz to the understated looks, as well as versatile cross-body bags and backpacks that doubled as duffels. Without paying much heed to current trends, Arcani continues to advance her sensible yet quirky brand of everyday dressing.