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By Timothy Hagy

PARIS, January 28 - Trenches, boots, distressed fabrics, quilted sweaters and exaggerated hip pockets more or less sum up Québec-based Philippe Dubuc's collection for fall. There were a few scintillating moments, as in a sweater-jacket top gaping open with straps - which on the buffed model that wore it looked hot enough to melt the snow of a Canadian winter - or the evening jacket with V-neck vest and T-shirt worn by David Lindwall, former Dior Homme poster boy and current London In-Fashionista. But overall the collection seemed unusually staid, weighted down by too much black and gray. A burst of color might just have been the thing to chase away the winter blues, but the detailed workmanship of jeans with ribbing along the knees, or the intricate elbow patches that ornamented jackets prove that Dubuc is a designer to be watched. The press corps is growing with each of his Paris shows, and his well-placed sponsors, Air France and Moët Chandon, are most certainly on to something. Or, as one French editor put it afterwards, "It was meant to be sold."

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