January 20, 2014 Paris
The undulating shapes of Oscar Niemeyer's buildings and bridges made up one of two messages informing Paule Ka's tightly edited Pre-Fall collection. A young Marianne Faithfull was the other. This overlap of architecture and ingenue was best expressed with short A-line dresses broken up by lace inserts in shades of chartreuse, robin's-egg blue, and lilac. The most dynamic paired the lilac with poppy-red stretch wool. The lace was best left unlayered; otherwise things turned too dainty to maintain any relation to the aforementioned inspirations. Elsewhere, a twisted duchesse satin cummerbund belt reined in silhouettes and impressed more than a conventional belt (that same satin detail also appeared as a decorative band across the instep of a heel). Spider mesh extended wool miniskirt hemlines by an extra inch, even though they revealed the same amount of leg. Pants were notable only insofar as how unimportant a role they played; Faithfull started off a skirt girl, anyway. Outerwear integrated plush panes of rabbit, fox, and curly lamb—ostensibly to ensure that the lace never ends up feeling too drafty.