February 28, 2003 Milan
Lacroix exerted his talent for color and pattern in a collection that looked best at its least serious and most playful. He brought back Pucci archive prints in gray, red, white and black to apply to the obligatory city-friendly sweaters, minidresses and short trench coats, but the show picked up speed when he took to the idea of the slopes. Bubble-shaped nylon blousons in a riot of pinks and yellow, black knit salopettes with bands of color and zippy ribbed cardigans with quilted print fronts might not technically qualify as skiwear, but at this fashion altitude, it’s the fun that’s the point.
The further Lacroix pushed things, the better they got. Transferring Pucci psychedelia into patchwork furs and huge multipastel fox hats, he hit moments of nutty delight that had the audience smiling from end to end. For après-ski, Lacroix dutifully ran through a slew of dressy options in plissé fabrics. The standout was a delicious absinthe-green patterned velvet minidress with a fluff of fox at the collar, floating capelike over colored opaque tights. It was beautifulbut, as far as Lacroix has come with this collection, he still needs to learn how to edit.