March 09, 2004 Paris
Once the girls started to stalk the square runway in a complicated formation sequence, things began to heat up: An and Filip put their own sharp twist on the pretty, polished femininity that's a recurring theme this season, with a smart tie-belted cardigan jacket in a magnified houndstooth tweed; a lacquered black lace circle skirt; and a decidedly chic cream bouclé tweed coat. The good news also included the now-trademark looks with which they opened and closed the proceedingsa belted trench with voluminous caped sleeves.
Intermixed with these standouts, however, were endless military-influenced jackets and shirts strewn with braiding, or pinned with medals. It may have been a comment on war and the military, but it led the collection directly into no-man's-landand a chilly one, at that.