Belles de jour ... et nuit

From swish suits and sweatshirts to gowns inspired by royals from fact and fiction, Paris trends for spring/summer 2013 can brighten any part of day

Balenciaga, Valentino and Lanvin
Christian Dior, Givenchy and Céline

OK, it looks a bit like the old tux. But when you’ve got a classic, why mess with it? Or why mess with it too much? Maybe just tweak it a bit: cut off the arms, make it asymmetric, exaggerate the hips. The tux, once and future, is the ultimate in understated power evening wear (and even, sometimes, daywear; why not?), perfect for propelling yourself forward in tough times or tough cocktail situations when the exec next to you will not stop reciting his cv. Speak softly, and wear a swish suit.

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Hussein Chalayan, Stella McCartney and Chanel

Olympic fever didn’t stop in east London, apparently; it forded the Chunnel and went viral in Paris. From chiffon sweatshirts to pearl-dotted warm-up jackets, orchid-like aerobic suits and mesh elegance, the icons of athletic gear leapt from one sartorial species to another – and provided an answer for what to wear when you’re in the middle of the rat race.

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Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh and Vivienne Westwood
Ann Demeulemeester, Margiela and Haider Ackermann

Between George RR Martin camping out on bestseller lists the world over, HBO winning awards for adapting them, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge show, which seems to run and run, it’s no wonder designers had royalty on the mind. Certainly, the runways were rife with floor-sweeping trains and fluted sleeves, seemingly as common as white shirts and denim. Admittedly, these are even more extreme than the usual ballgown, and it’s hard to know where, exactly, they will be worn, other than on the pages of glossy magazines. But who doesn’t want to be queen for a day, or a night … or a season?

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