The Paris couture shows, a twice-a-year exercise in excess that is part fashion laboratory, part craft preservation, ended this week with a glimmer of autumn trends that could translate to women with smaller checkbooks.
Donatella Versace's liberal use of zebra, tiger and ocelot prints indicated that animal prints are becoming less of a now-and-then trend and more of a fashion perennial. Slim suits and cigarette pants emerged at Emanuel Ungaro, Valentino and Chanel, while themes of luxury persisted in most houses with furs and showy, glittery clothes.
The week also delivered reassuring news at Givenchy, where newcomer Julien Macdonald presented a strong, Victorian-inspired collection. Macdonald took the reins this season from fellow Briton Alexander McQueen, who decamped in March to pursue his own label. Yves Saint Laurent's well-executed collection was elegant but didn't stray from his familiar themes.