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Rue du Mail: Masterly Mature Chic

Godfrey Deeny
October 01st, 2009 @ 2:28 PM - Paris

After a Milan season characterized by an obsession with sexual frivolity, the opening day of the Paris season included the runway show Rue du Mail, a French brand that does sexy, but with a brainy attitude.

Hemlines were high, V-necks plunged almost to the navel and plenty of flesh was on display, yet this Spring 2010 collection, presented Wednesday evening, Sept. 30, in central Paris, never teetered over the edge into vulgarity.

This collection had a sense of bright-witted glamour in spades – whether the calico cocktails, mini dresses with sequined bras or gauzy plissé skirts, there was just enough delicacy to keep things elegant.

Rue du Mail, the fashion collection of designer Martine Sitbon and whose flagship and headquarters is located on the Paris street of the same name, is very much an insider’s label, where subtly, not sass holds sway. The two best examples of that were brilliantly draped inside-out trench coats where there was an uncanny sense of playing tricks with perspective, like a three-dimensional Escher print.

Above all, there was a sense of expert self-confidence about this collection, right up to the models’ hair, which Sitbon made gray, adding a certain sense of authority and making models like Iris Strubegger, Kinga Rajzak and Kim Noorda look like sizzling intellectuals.

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