By  on April 13, 2009

The eternal allure of the Parisienne - and her envy-inducing je ne sais quoi — puzzles even Christian Lacroix. Why is the city such a font of great style? “The best answer I ever heard was by Madame Grès, and she said, ‘Because of the sky.’ Great point, but you have the same sky in New York and London,” muses the affable couturier, a striped scarf tied around his neck just so. “It’s a mystery forever.”

Even though Gallic style has been popular for several years, Lacroix’s masterful and lighthanded treatise on Paris chic was a tour de force — especially since his red-lipped beauties, their hair twisted into perfect, glossy chignons, paraded on a stark cement floor in a grungy parking garage, with a backdrop of antique and broken mirrors the only props. With just 31 looks, the couturier proved that, no matter the surroundings, elegant and peerless clothes — from tapered peacoats and gently poufed skirts to elegantly draped jersey dresses — can play anywhere.

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