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Barbara Bui – Clothing line

Bui collections find balance in contrasts: romantic yet masculine, feminine with an emphasis on tailored silhouettes, soft fabrics like silk and organza paired with leather, traditional elegance spiked with a rebellious flair. Bui, who described herself as a Rebelle Douce and her collections always reflect her self-description as the image of a Rebelle Douce, a Sweet and Gentle Rebel.

The BB look is boyish in a decidedly feminine way—a masculine suit jacket is worn over a strapless dress, or turned into a hip-belted mini-dress— just as the signature rock elements that upend traditional dress codes are never flagrant, but free-spirited and smart. It’s the look of a confident rebel, expressed in luxury fabrics, impeccably cut and meticulously finished, and always with a touch of wit and whimsy.

Black is the basis of the BB colour palette, in every possible nuance and in many different textures, shiny or matte, sometimes played off against silver, gold or brilliantly colourful embroidery. In the same way, the great artist Edouard Manet famously turned black into light, Bui uses black to illuminate her collections; the rest of her re-occurring palette is neutral. Barbara Bui designs for the total woman, a woman with a strong character but also a lot of emotion and sensitivity — a woman who assumes her femininity, in all the facets of her life.


Shoes carry her deftly mixed message too: luxurious sandals with vertiginous heels in python, suede, satin and patent leather with sporty couture details, and unique multi-colour embroidered and beaded stiletto ankle boots.


Bui's clothes work as well for the office or the board-room as they do for a walk in the park with the kids or a romantic night out, and so do her accessories: leather handbags, from totes to evening clutches, with Bui's signature metal detailing; scarves in ethnic prints; belts and bracelets in leather, python or crocodile and jewellery with a serpent theme. And for fun, there are "gri-gri" handbag ornaments: leather "rock dolls", fringed tassels and metal-studded leather "rock balls".