Snob Essentials

The New Look: The Sleeker Shape of Things to Come

After many seasons of floppy-schloppy chic, I’m excited to see the commitment to sleek structure from the Parisian houses. The French understand the power of subtlety (perhaps more so than any other breed), and Fall 2012 is going to be one of refinement if they have any say in it!

Céline toys with the triangle on their latest envelope clutches – no wacky, fanning shapes, just perfectly measured geometry. Similarly, Burak Uyan is proving he has a way with hard lines; his boxy shape has a welcome keenness. Christian Dior is relying on clean, fluid lines, along with dreamy, plush colors – with soft colors to match. Hermès is even more subdued than normal. There’s not an “H” to be found, just neat, trim stitching and well-edited leather details.

I’m pleased to say Lanvin might be bidding a final adieu to ribbons and bows (at least for awhile). Their glossy minaudieres speak of Art-Deco curves and contrasting sharpness, for maximum sensuality. Givenchy plays with fluidity and texture, too: lush pony-hair juxtaposed against naturally shining leather. Lightening up on the biker-chic hardware, the edge is still intact but it’s now a whisper instead of a shout. While Yves Saint Laurent keeps their trademark “Y,” it looks fresh against the smooth arch of glossy patent leather. A smart kind of sexy, these new bags are as proud of their fine materials as they are their commitment to effortless sophistication.

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