With cool, October-like weather lingering in Paris, the deep, autumnal palette that European designers have been peddling for spring 2014 is starting to make perfect sense.

At Dior Homme, Kris Van Assche generously poured on the Bordeaux — plus a gorgeous range of smoky blues — for a mix-and-match collection of minimalist tailoring.

“It’s really about choice,” he explained backstage, noting that during fittings, some models looked best in boxy suits; others in athletic fits; still others in elongated jackets. Additional variables included no sleeves, short sleeves or full sleeves; and for bottoms, stovepipe pants or shorts.

As models whisked through a mirrored maze for the finale, the multiple choices fractured further into infinite reflections, producing a dazzling effect.

The cocktail party circuit during Art Basel Miami — which found Van Assche feeling incongruous wearing black-tie on the beach — sparked the intermingling of formal and informal on the runway. The satin usually found on tuxedo lapels turned up as glossy T-shirts under suits, or on the yoke of a garage-man jacket.

Utility and retro influences whispered through, in the utility pockets and petrol-station colors. Geometric patchworks, another expression of endless variation, worked best on crisp shirts and spongy sweaters.

Knowing the lousy weather has been dampening moods across much of Europe, Van Assche went for an upbeat Pet Shop Boys soundtrack.

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