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Barbara Bui F/W 13.14 Paris

La Parisienne

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February 28, 2013 PARIS

By Maya Singer

Lack of focus has been a recurring theme this season, as more than a few designers seem to have taken an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to putting together their collections. Not Barbara Bui: One thing her collection certainly had going for it was focus. Almost all the clothes were black. There were two trouser silhouettes and one key jacket, and the dresses were uniformly short and tight. Given those strictures, it's actually remarkable how much variety Bui managed to coax out of this collection. Her primary aid in that effort was texture, as she executed her cropped, flared trouser and sharp-shouldered, lapel-free jacket in materials ranging from python to lace; she also turned out a number of strong coats, the best of which was a feral shearling with side slits that cleverly allowed it to be worn as a cape. Elsewhere, Bui mixed up her proportions with her tops, showing trim button-downs, a diaphanous lace blouse that draped long at the back, and a couple of barely there, banded halters only fit for the daring. The gold-sequin halter on Abbey Lee Kershaw should wind up on a pop star any day now, which was probably the point. If there was a musical muse here, though, you'd have to guess Bowie—there was just something about the glam androgyny of Bui's updated tuxedo looks that put you in mind of his Ziggy Stardust phase. Her spin on the look was very accessible and ought to translate to sales.

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