Vive Paris! In rough financial times, the question always arises: Should designers play it safe, addressing their customers’ most obvious needs, or should they throw caution to the fashion winds and work the indulgence angle? During the spring collections the answer was just about unanimous, as designers there weighed in overwhelmingly not to play to the bleak historical moment with dour clothes, but to offer a wealth of gleeful antidotes.

The results were spectacular as the Paris collections radiated with imagination, wit and genuine joy, at the heart of which lay a very real sense of daring. Everyone loved it and came away hoping that such bravura will inspire consumers in much the same way it did the industry audience. "We’re going through a time when french Fashion is the trend," Bergdorf Goodman’s Robert Burke said. "They can do it unlike anybody." Bloomingdale’s Kal Ruttenstein called the Paris season "one of the most exciting I’ve seen in 30 years of fashion."

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