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New York has had its say about next spring (cool, artsy, neutral). Now the Continent speaks. From the Paris and Milan collections: crazy shoes, humongous bags, and the disappearing shoulder strap.

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From left: Hermès, Lanvin, Giambattista Valli, Alexander McQueen, Valentino  

(1) Your Old Belt Will Seem Boring
Waist as focal point is not really new: We’ve been cinching and pinching for a few seasons now. The spring waist is encircled elaborately, with ornate belt plates (at Valentino) and updates on traditional Japanese obis at both Hermès and Lanvin. Giambattista Valli’s simple olive sash was a fresh take on the look, while Alexander McQueen kept it clean and monochromatic.


From left: Rochas, Giorgio Armani, Balenciaga, Versace, Bottega Veneta  

(2) You’ll Love Your Pants—Finally
Recent seasons have seen nothing but dresses and skirts, and there were plenty of those for next spring too. But there were also scattered appearances of great trouser suits, in all sorts of shapes: full-legged and high-waisted at Armani and Bottega Veneta, softly washed at Rochas, and lean, mean, and rock-star ready at Balenciaga.


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