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Long black skirts could be so boring. But not the way Veronique Branquinho makes them.

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One in a series on the clothes that made waves at Paris Fashion Week.

PARIS — Designer Veronique Branquinho has always been a fan of long skirts and dresses — not the kind that fall mid-calf but the ones that graze the ankle and maybe even drag a little bit on the floor.

Typically, those long hemlines are pleated and have a rigorous elegance to them. They are prim and proper; they are crisp. Branquinho often pairs them with shirts that are buttoned up to the neck or pussy bow blouses that snuff out all hints of sexiness.  Her typical look isn’t sultry, not in the traditional sense. But there is something compelling and mysterious about the whole aesthetic.

Her skirts and dresses for fall 2016 are especially splendid. They are long and flowing and constructed of fabric that shimmers. Or sometimes it is merely a layer of tulle over sparkling trousers. And if you happen to be wondering about trends for fall, tulle is one of those fabrics that will be having a moment.

In the hands of Branquinho, these long skirts do not seem cumbersome, and the tulle does not add a layer of poofy princess silliness. Instead, the fine netting cuts the gleam of the sequins and keeps them from being ostentatious. They are a mere glint, offering a sudden burst of light in an ensemble that could otherwise be flat and boring and let a woman disappear into the shadows.

That’s often the reason people are drawn to black, after all. A little black cocktail dress or a formal black gown ensures that a woman will be dressed for the occasion but won’t be drawing much attention. That’s why we don’t see a lot of plain black on the red carpet.

Branquinho serves up glamour in a sly, moody way. There’s no skin showing — except for those times when she gets the runway theatrics bug and refrains from lining a dress —  and the clothes don’t fit snugly. The garments move easily and look exceedingly comfortable. Hers is a contrarian way of defining charisma and animal magnetism.

The clothes whisper. Their allure isn’t immediately obvious but reveals itself on closer inspection — like a non-traditional beauty who suddenly becomes the most alluring creature in the room once you strike up a conversation.

Branquinho makes black skirts. That sounds so boring. So banal. But she is better than that. And so are her skirts.


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