Feminine elegance crossed with punk-rock severity, from a Paris favorite..
De rigeur for stylish Parisians, Barbara Bui's dramatic, rocker-chic designs are just now catching on Stateside. Her cavernous Soho shop (the only Bui shop in the U.S.) manages to capture the refined-rebel feel of her designs. Gorgeous, efficient saleswomen clad in Basic Bui--men's style slacks and fitted tops--flit around the racks, offering dead-on advice to the crowd of mostly middle-aged shoppers, most of whom appear to have cabbed it down from the Upper East Side in search of a Prada alternative. Look for cozy mink jackets nestled up against silk blouses and cashmere sweaters of unearthly softness. A master of structure, Bui's sumptuously draped coats and jackets are must-haves.