Lindsey Wixson walked twice in the Paul & Joe show today. First, she appeared in an oversize white sweatshirt emblazoned in patchwork that spelled "Paul" on the front and "Joe" on the back. Nearly a dozen runway exits later, she returned in a belted black plunging-neckline dress that hovered above the floor. One girl, two remarkably different looks. But Sophie Albou-Mechaly will tell you that they represent an identical "no-stress elegance." The collection was titled A Summer in Paris, which is telling to the extent that those who don't participate in the massive August exodus enjoy the city at its most relaxed. In addition to rehashing the label's foundation pieces—boy's shirt, T-shirt blouse, chambray anything—Albou-Mechaly established leisure-class allure with airy embroidered silk maxi dresses and coats that were treated like dressing gowns. The designer typically has a weakness for presenting seemingly incongruous prints. This time she gathered together Liberty florals, tie motifs, deck-chair stripes, micro checks, and photoprint flowers, and they managed to interact sans conflict. Most notably, she moved away from a trend-based agenda—well, minus the branded sweatshirt. The attitude was in the styling (those coats appeared over swimsuits, and bandannas doubled as belts).
You'd think on the penultimate day of Paris fashion week that the models would look exhausted. Even if Albou-Mechaly encouraged them to put on their best happy face, it is a testament to the ease of this collection that they seemed so content. There was a genuine spring in their step.