Might The Row secretly—or, at least, partially—be a Paris brand? Of course, it was born in New York and maintains its roots there. In her Fall ’23 review, Vogue Runway’s Sarah Mower raved about the “ingenuously subtle” clothes, concluding that the collection was “very New York.”

But upon arriving to The Row’s permanent Paris home, an 18th-century hotel particulier around the corner from the Place Vendôme, only to learn that there is a full design studio located below the vast showroom, this Paris-based reviewer began reconsidering the brand’s geographic, creative, and spiritual identity.

Just as Paris Fashion Week was getting underway, The Row opted for neither show nor presentation. A selection of the 80 looks for spring appeared on mannequins through an enfilade of handsome salons punctuated with design furniture from Paris galleries and naturalistic floral arrangements. There was no music; simply an ambiance of calm grandeur suggesting a certain cultivated, indeed, Parisian sensibility.

The collection was introduced with an explanation that an expanded range of men’s wear yielded pieces that overlapped with the women’s offer. Can you spot the knee-length, black leather trench that reappears throughout the lineup? The leisure shirts with their retro stripes? The jeans that have been skillfully shredded at the knees, enhancing their desirability? Note, too, how the tailoring that seemed intentionally boxy and generous on a female frame is as intentionally streamlined on the male counterpart.

Although Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were absent, their presence was felt across the spectrum of this covetable wardrobe: laid-back layering; intellectual silhouettes; and lived-in looks that might be as basic as a button-front shirt and chinos. For every item in a dressier register—see the hand-embroidered slip dress worn over a gray T-shirt, or the pumps with higher heels—the collection suggested a casual confidence. The lineup was also particularly palette-diverse, as primary hues alternated with pastels—see the bold red high-neck dress and pale pink cashmere polo.

With enough time to notice the nuances, one can appreciate why people gush over the most seemingly ordinary garment. An outfit that comprised an outdoorsy jacket, pine green corduroy shirt, and jeans was at once erudite and everyday, as though it conveyed some admixture of vintage inspiration and social studies. Where a leather paneled windbreaker was intricately assembled from the inside, a suede cape that cocooned around the body was the ne plus ultra of cozy luxury. New versions of signature bag styles were unapologetically capacious and as faithful to The Row as any logo.

We all know that Paris style is ineffable and cannot be reduced to a single archetype. But the studio here can absorb the local culture and benefits from the proximity to manufacturers in France and Italy, where a large part of the collections are made. If a retail location to rival the stores in Los Angeles, New York, and London would give The Row its Paris bona fides, let’s agree for now that the brand has definitely perfected its je ne sais quoi.

This article was originally published on Vogue Runway.

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