New York seems miles away as the Paris collections, the fourth and final stop of the spring 2013 shows, began in a downpour — a literal one, that is. People
arrived at Rochas on Wednesday shaking like poodles, and left to face lagoons of water in the streets. One woman came prepared with a beige vinyl sou’wester
that matched her skirt. I hugged the sidewalk on the Champs-Élysées, staying under the trees, and got back to my hotel just before it let loose again. I opened a
bottle of red wine.
I found the Dries Van Noten show curious but interesting: mostly for its inky colors and plaids, but curious for its runny silhouette. Dare I say grunge? The
attitude was nonchalant in the extreme, with a sleeveless nipped-waist jacket in a silvery plaid worn with a blouse and a sarong-draped skirt in a floral print,
ruffled chiffon tops mixed with plaid, and wrapped jackets and sleeveless dresses tied loosely with a cord. The wrap dresses, particularly one in a black-and-
white plaid with a rolled-sleeve red blouse, looked striking; versatile, too.
Essentially, Mr. Van Noten took the everyday elements of a contemporary wardrobe (the mix of new and old, masculine and feminine, cozy and dressy) and with a
liberal hand, recombined them. There’s quite a feeling of sleepiness in this collection. Or maybe it’s extreme, private comfort.
Could the cause be fashion overload? The ultimate expression was a pair of print pajama pants worn with a blouse and a soupy gray pullover.
At Rochas, Marco Zanini started out on a sporty note, with uniform-like blouses and miniskirts in stiff white brocade. The models, their lips matte red, wore
face-shielding head wraps and soft leather boots like a wrestler’s. But then Mr. Zanini shifted the glamour to satin pencil skirts with snug tops, followed by
hoop skirts. (Yes, swaying hoop skirts.) Mr. Zanini can’t resist that gust of femininity. Each change in the silhouette, from mini to pencil to petticoat to
sexy full-cut bathing suit, meant, ideally, a change in how a woman moves.