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PARIS Spring 2004

Patrick Robinson, who has had past design stints at Giorgio Armani and Anne Klein (and is married to Vogue editor Virginia Smith) launched for spring with a very well edited and well- conceived (and well received) collection which paid homage to the playful optimism that marked and defined Perry Ellis's clothes in the 80's.

Pleasing on the eye, the soft, delicate, often sweet colors uplifted wonderful staples and classics like trench coats, trench jackets, peasant blouses, polos, and printed pleated skirts. Utilitarian details (elasticized hems) trimmed khaki trouser skirts cut just below the knee, striped sweaters, shrunken cardigans, v- neck pullovers were a major statement, and fabrics seemed to have been washed, adding to the lived in, gentle, vintage look. There was nothing overly tailored or stiff. Most importantly, there was that mix of masculine and feminine that defined Perry's work. The collection, which was shown informally on 40 models (both male and female) was accessorized with pearls, oversized fabric flowers, and high- heeled Manolo Blahnik sandals and best of all the prices will retail from about $28 to $238.