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Published: 3/13/2003

New Feraud line carries on tradition

FROM BLADE STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

Jean-Paul Knott turned out a chic winter ready-to-wear collection in Paris this week for the house of Louis Feraud, a top couturier who died three years ago.

Taking over after a great designer poses big problems to financiers, staff, and clients, who want to see a smooth continuation.

Knott rose to the challenge with a modern collection in the spirit of Feraud, with plenty of graphics, sexy cuts, and good details. It was Knott's second Feraud collection for the house, which is now owned by the German firm Escada.

Well-cut black suits with short skirts and sexy black sheaths with red fox wraps were in the best Feraud tradition.

Color and graphics in plum and purples combined in dressy outfits. Tuxedos were elegant, as were black slim pants paired with an orange satin shirt. Some coats looked like chic riding hoods in colors from red to pink to fuchsia.

Artistic graphics were not as elaborate as Feraud's styles, but they were pleasing in organza and chiffon.

Meanwhile, designer Tom Ford is sorting out how to follow a legend at Yves Saint Laurent. Showing sophisticated styles, short skirts, pencil stretch pants, and rhinestone-decorated sandals, he presented his collection at the Rodin Museum - his preferred posh Left Bank venue.

Ford's forte is black, but he also went in for green - which has a reputation for bad luck in the fashion world. The way Ford showed it, green could make a fashion comeback.

Ford offered flashy Kelly green silk and lace, including one dress cut off the shoulder and slashed down the front with a lace fill-in.

Fur accents - especially red fox - were featured on red, green or satin sheath cocktail dresses. A horizontally cut white-belted mink coat vied with nutria coats for attention.

Real or even knit-copy fur is a big winter trend to cover up skimpy dresses and mini-outfits.

Dice Kayek, a Turkish designer, showed leather blousons, nubbly sweaters and slim gray flannel trousers. She has a talent for shiny trenches and classic double-breasted coats.

The collection - full of bright colors and sequins - also had a classic feel of the 1960s, the big comeback of this season. The draped loose chiffon dresses and bright red or shocking pink dresses offered a young, nostalgic appeal.

Collette Dinnegan went for short looks and draped lines in sequined clothes. Long dark dresses were elegant, as were lurex and jeweled minis.

As a former lingerie designer, Australia's Dinnegan also brought out embroidered camisole tops for her short or longer skirts. As she was promoting Autore South Sea Pearls, she showed many long strands on a sleek black silk cocktail dress.

Irish designer Sharon Wauchob made a splash at the Beaux-Arts school. The hard-edged show offered lots of leather, blacks and whites, fake or real leather stiletto pants, and stiletto-heeled shoes or boots.

At Alexandre and Matthieu, two younger designers turned out printed and flounced dresses and blouson suits. Their pastel short dresses with fishnet covers looked rather sweet, but not great for winter.

A specialty shoe store, Scarpe, is set to open Monday in downtown Toledo, featuring high-fashion, mostly Italian-made shoes.

Doors open at 9:30 a.m. at the store's site in the Davis Building, 135 North Michigan St., a couple of blocks from the main branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and near the Sophia Lustig Shop.

Mother/daughter team Debbie and Meg Monagan came up with the idea for the store after the closing of upscale department store Jacobson's last year.

Designers whose work will be on sale include Donald Pliner, Stuart Weitzman, Antonio Bossi, Bettye Muller, and Goffredo Fantini.

The Italian word “scarpe” means shoes, and the store has Italian-themed d cor, including four large couches where customers can sit and drink coffee.



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