March 08, 2004 Paris
As much as this season's frill and flourish are fun to look at, ultimately women want clothes that can survive a grab-and-go lifestyle while still performing the important role of personal enhancement. Enter Akris' nip-waist jackets, trim trousers, pencil skirts, and snappy coats cut from cashmere, tweed, suede, and lamb, worn with luxe cashmere sweaters or silky tunics. Those kinds of basics can easily turn boring, but Kriemler has a gift for proportion and cut, and he managed to balance all the elementsrough with polish, bulky with airywithout getting bogged down in tradition. The silky dresses and gowns that closed the show emitted just the right amount of subtle sex appeal. And, while his fluttery smocked chiffon tops may have Swiss milkmaid in their genealogy, their flirty confidence was purely modern-day.