IN his penultimate women's collection for Lanvin, designer Dominique Morlotti stays true to his trademark of classic clothes with sober lines. One of the highlights this season is the Il Pour Elle (Him for Her) section which comprises nicely tailored suits copied from menswear. 'We have some tweed suits and turtlenecks to go with them and some nice waistcoats from this line,' said Andrea Benamou, the marketing executive. 'They are either three matching pieces or just very easy to combine, like a waistcoat with a jacquard pattern that you can wear with black, blue or green because it has all those colours.' Skirt suits in the collection have the jackets with three buttons that are a Morlotti trademark. 'We ordered mostly skirt suits in wool or flannel and cashmere, especially 100 per cent cashmere suits with short jackets and skirts,' Ms Benamou said. Most skirt lengths are just above the knee and the classic wool suits are generally in dark colours. Coats play a key role, with either a long and narrow silhouette or a short and flared shape. 'In Paris, they did lots of short coats, like duffle coats or a trench coat with big lapels but rather short, above the knee,' Ms Benamou said. Duffle coats fall just below the knee and come in black cashmere for day time or black taffeta for evening. 'They're rather sporty but the fabric makes them more elegant, not like the duffle coats students wear in Europe. It's a duffle coat you would wear over a two-piece skirt suit or something more dressy, but still classic,' Ms Benamou said. Besides traditional suit fabrics, such as cashmere, flannel and tweed, leather and suede play a small part in belted reefer jackets, blousons and straight trousers, while black patent leather has a presence in coats. Velvet is also used extensively: for example, in a short, double-breasted jacket teamed with a draped velvet skirt or wool/satin pinstripe trousers. Grey is a favoured shade for velvet, though dresses also come in chestnut brown, black and bordeaux. 'We have a couple of dresses in a dark grey velvet,' Ms Benamou said. 'And, especially for the coming Christmas season, we have fancy silk blouses in silver, grey and white.' Red is used for overcoats, such as a long double-breasted wool/cashmere coat, and also for jackets and dresses. One short, red dress is in a double-breasted style with long sleeves and a stand-up collar, in a very light wool. Evening wear is also elaborate in red, with wool and chenille or shiny satin. Satin is a strong theme in the evening wear, in taupe, rust, gold or caramel with embroidery. Black, however, is the preferred colour of the night in a variety of luxuriously soft, sheer, shiny or sequinned fabrics. Combinations with white, such as a black trouser suit over a white embroidered organza waistcoat with sculpted stand-up collar, reinforce this theme. Evening trousers are wider, while long and flowing skirts play with transparency effects and slightly high-waisted and close-fitting dresses are worn under flowing and transparent coats.