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Words, Judith Ecochard

Ashleigh Verrier’s leitmotif for her stunning Fall/Winter 2009 collection was the 1964 French coming of age movie, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg –with the young Genèvieve, (the always glorious Catherine Deneuve, 21 years old at that time) as the ingénue.

Feminine separates in luxe satins, silks and plush velvets dominated the runway---with a silk tiered skirt with white piping and a high waist sailor type trousers (we so wanted to walk out wearing them), as a top pick for us that epitomizes the “choreographed parade of pinks, blues, yellows and reds” that are inspired by the opening scene of the film---a memorable panache of wide open, colorful umbrellas against the damp gray cobble stones of a rainy Cherbourg.

Verrier also offered some beautiful and intricately cut dresses too- for women who are a decade or three past the coquette stage of life. Several standouts- like the black duchess satin shift with flower Swarovski embellishments, an adorable red frock with a circular umbrella print, and a chic high neck ruffled day dress in “demure rose” - reminded us of those wonderful silk Ungaro dresses that were a staple of many upscale wardrobes…back in the day.

Very smartly, non-fussy outerwear of sturdy wool and leather coats and fitted jackets, are military/utilitarian in tailoring---serving up as a nice contrast to the frilly touches of Verrier’s next to the body garb. As were the knee high and mid calf leather boots.

We figure it’s only a matter of time before a lingerie line (linens? home scent?) is launched... seems like a natural extension of the brand to us.

All images DAN LECCA/Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.