The Best Looks from Paris Fashion Week: Spring 2013

Balmain Spring 2013

If Olivier Rousteing was feeling all-thing American for resort, he's certainly moved on for spring. Other than at a rodeo, a harlequin suit with embroidered strong shoulders does not say American sportswear. But this is Paris.

There were touches of Montana and Mugler in the box-shoulders and high cinched waists that created a hyper hourglass silhouette.

Carven Spring 2013

First, how excited are we about the Carven-Petit Bateau collaboration? Ok, on to the runway. Guillaume Henry continues to do a terrific job breathing life into the 70-odd-year old French brand. For spring 2013, it was about a molded sophistication, with rounded silhouettes in a grown up neutral palette with splashes of red.

That said, this wasn't just for ladies of a certain age. The younger set—which has adopted Carven as its uniform—will want to dress up for those all-important job interviews in one of Henry's cool but collected suits.

Balenciaga Spring 2013

At first it seemed as if the only thing anyone could think about was Kristen Stewart, the face of Balenciaga beauty, showing up in a quilted leather yellow jacket and black and white floral pants. And that she had a smile on her face—of course she would, she's the face of Balenciaga, no? In non-Tabloid news, though, Nicolas Ghesquière showed his most accessible collection to date, but it didn't compromise on that modern Balenciaga ethos.

There were flamenco skirts and cropped pant suits done in men's wear fabrics and worn with boxy cropped tops. Some dresses with ruffled peplums also featured bustier-like bodices that softened the men's wear angle.

Dries van Noten Spring 2013

Count on Dries van Noten to pull off a collection that revives everyone's spirits in a so far ho-hum season. He hit the trends (plaid, sheerness, layers and less flou), but did it the Dries way—irreverently, beautifully, coolly.

Start with the plaids. This was the Belgian-French way of working grunge: a balance of slim and louche silhouettes and a touch of shine.
Even at his most louche—pajama pants and artfully sloppy shirts—van Noten stayed elevated. Fabrics couldn't be richer and subtly feminine with a pretty print.

Accessories also softened the grungy edge. He did femme little pointy-toed pumps, small clutches and a full collection of colored sunglasses.
He took the idea of the baby doll and the slip dress, that one-time uniforms of the grunge girl, and turned them into something sophisticated and ultra chic. Sometimes it was just a slip dress stretched to the floor with a pale sea foam colored floral or a sheer, voluminous plaid chiffon dress.