February 29, 2012 Paris
Bui's cocktail yielded some fine pieces—a sturdy-chic military overcoat, a slew of ankle-cropped pants, a Halston-esque jersey dress, a leopard coat. That lamé maxi dress and the slouchy pants in metallic leopard triggered memories of a more recent glam heyday, the apex of Balmain-ia. But heck, they're also the pieces you'd shop your closet for sooner rather than later. Still, working an Asian motif is tricky. (Marc Jacobs was smart to take his to a so-bad-it's-good extreme a few seasons ago.) What tripped Bui up were the schlocky crouching tigers, and hidden dragons in prints and hefty embroideries that closed the show, a costume-y misstep in a collection that typically does reality so right.