Léonard Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 Paris
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“Kim and Kanye didn't make it to show,” moaned an angry paparazzi, who obviously didn't get his expected job done. Indeed, they weren't at the Grand Palais to admire Borriello's second collection for Léonard and they certainly should have attended – and if it wasn't for the clothes, at least for their now disappointed fans.

But let's get back to business: after Maxime Simoens's quick stint at Léonard for Fall 2012 – he parted ways with the brand after one season only – the Italian designer Raffaello Borriello took over the creative direction of the brand. It is now his task to play with Léonard's heritage, something that he does quiet well, as he interpreted the brand's signature prints on contemporary and empowering feminine silhouettes.

Léonard's signature band, which delicately structured transparent backs, and the romantic Orchid prints, that are both part of Léonard's signature style, were again essential elements of the collection. This said, the real guiding thread this time, was the reinterpretation of Léonard's classical “Galliera” nature prints and 60's flavored “Gloria” and “Galaxie” motifs on his numerous padded shoulder bodycon dresses, floor-sweeping tube gowns and low-necked fitted jumpsuits. Hints of burgundy, fuchsia and Swarovski embroideries added a girly and precious note to the very rigid and geometrical structured silhouettes.

As Boriello used to lead the leather & fur department of Gucci, it was no wonder that he would experiment with fabrics in order to make them look more opulent: silk jerseys were lacquered and sometimes came in a padded version, adorning shoulder and backs, while fur came along in patchwork motives on a jacket or as oversized collars on trenches.

The form-fitting, powerful feminine shapes set a promising note. This said, the collection was somewhat too safe, lacking in new style propositions, as if the designer opted to rest on the brand's laurels. However, now that an Italian designer took the helm of a French fashion house, we can certainly expect some further ostentatious feminine glamour. Kim Kardashian will love it.

- Elisabeta Tudor

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