Wild fantasy has its place, but certain houses have a different mission. Creating real clothes for flesh-and-blood women is the agenda there. Albert Kriemler, for example, made elegant tailoring a winning formula for Akris, and Alber Elbaz’s confident Lanvin collection was inspired by jewels. Meanwhile, Martine Sitbon went her own way, as ever, with an inside-out motif.

Akris: Some women just don’t aspire to hang 10. Nor do they wish to go public with their hooker fantasies. Thank goodness some companies understand that, and make clothes that address the real-life needs of those women. Akris has been doing exactly that for years. Recently, it has been the decision of Albert Kriemler, designer and a principal of the firm founded by his grandmother in 1922, to up its profile and fashion quotient while retaining its dedication to high quality and discreet chic.

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