Fashion: Bouleversant!

No matter that the skies were grey, the Bois wrapped in mist. For Parisians, spring is at hand as soon as the couturiers have decreed what women will wear to greet it. It was that time last week, and from all the portents it will be a spring to remember.

As the two-week round of showings got under way, the overall tone was soft—pretty rather than bold, more flattering than fussy. Gerard Pipart, 31, in his second season at Nina Ricci, caused a major ripple with coats slashed up to the waist, long double-breasted jackets and dresses, most made of...

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