Hearing a French designer cite Sonic Youth as inspiration is akin to an American name-checking Serge Gainsbourg: It implies a certain pop-cultural fetishizing from afar. Vanessa Bruno used "Bull in the Heather" as her runway music, and described the nineties alt band as the aural equivalent of the pattern clashing that made her Spring collection so lively.

Certainly the colors started off high-frequency: red, orange, deep green, and vibrant blue. They gave depth to geometric patterns, butterflies, simplified poppies, and zebra stripes—and when those prints were matched or mixed together, the impact intensified. Bruno is not the first in the Parisian contemporary sphere to mention the sportswear message this season, and her focus on exposed midriffs confirmed her interest. She gingerly touched on grunge with a few romper overalls—suede Perfectos lined with pretty lepidoptera didn't really qualify. And mostly, the French touch persisted in well-cut trenchcoats, gamine dresses (strapless and white-collared to cover the bases), and slim cropped pants.

Bruno said that the print focus was a challenge for her, but it hardly showed (only on one or two occasions did the mix register as discordant). In fact, her biggest challenge could be at the retail level, where sales associates will need to get comfortable styling these looks on customers. But the Bruno girl should be game.