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    Costume National Autumn / Winter 2013
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Anna Dello Russo is sitting front row, graciously posing for photographs like a comparably iconic sky-high landmark. Editors arrive toting children, who sit staring wide-eyed at a man with a powder pink rose crown and another with long strings for eyelashes. There’s a woman wearing peach ostrich feathers down to the floor. Oh, just watch the paparazzi swoon.

We’ve come together at the Palais de Tokyo for the Costume National défilé – a show that clearly carries much expectation. Creative Director Ennio Capasa delivers a classic yet modern minimalist approach to a collection dominated by black and white. Coats embrace the tailcoat silhouette – long in the back and cropped in the front – but the shape is boxier, more contemporary. A square-shouldered cape makes us swoon, worn over a simple white tailored shirt. Where other designers use leather accents this season, Costume National opts for a luxurious satin creating strong lines around collars, coat edges, cuffs, waistbands and on a single, featured asymmetrical lapel.

Maroon and navy add colour variation, as line takes centre stage – an evolution of the strong tailored lines in the black and white pieces. Token fur emerges to accent sleeves; a key trend in the men’s ready-to-wear that has carried through to the women’s collections this season. Trousers are slim and tailored, but there are also a couple of long, billowy half-skirt, half-trouser pieces, which create a fabulous movement as models sweep down the catwalk.

Here’s a little vision for you: This time next year, I’ll be sashaying into the Vogue Paris office, arm in arm with Emmanuel Alt, wearing a Costume National‘tailcoat’, McQueen heels and something Japanese on my head. Thanks Paris Fashion Week for gifting me an aspirational business wardrobe, and a vault-out-of-poverty dream.

Symonne Torpy

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