Expect to See Barbara Bui's Backless Suits All Over the Red Carpet — or on 'Emily in Paris'

The designer, who skipped hosting a runway show and made a movie instead, tells InStyle all about her sexy-strong Spring '23 collection.

Designer Interview / Barbara Bui

Getty Images/ InStyle

While Paris Fashion Week was full of crowds clamoring to get into runway shows and shove their way through presentations, Barbara Bui decided to take a more thoughtful tack. She showcased her Spring 2023 collection through a short film instead, instructing people to view it prior to looking at the pieces up close.

"It’s a way to be more intimate," the French designer tells InStyle, speaking about the film, which was written and directed by singer-songwriter Keren Ann. "It’s not only fashion models — it’s much more human to show it through a movie than a show. In fashion, sometimes, you have the feeling that it’s very superficial, very into appearance. I prefer to be real, to go into the lives of the people and help them express themselves."

Bui says the movie — which depicts two actors, posing around a scenic home, wearing the brand's sleek suits and dresses — also helps to "express strengths and softness at the same time," which happens to be the exact theme of her designs.

"It’s wearable, but at the same time, you can have a different attitude," Bui tells us, explaining that for spring 2023, her pieces will help fashion lovers show skin in unexpected ways. "Like with a jacket opening in the back — you have the feeling that it’s a normal jacket, but then it's a surprise in the back and completely different."

Barbara Bui


It's also not exactly strange for Bui to be marrying fashion and film in this way. Her designs have been seen on plenty of actresses, including Helen Mirren and Emily in Paris' Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, who was spotted filming in the brand over the summer. Bui's looks also have no trouble taking center stage — literally.

"I dress a lot of singers for their concerts because they like to have these very strong colors," she says, explaining that she either gravitates toward bold colors or neutrals, never soft shades. "They can also wear [the suits] in a rock way, not a sophisticated, feminine way. It can be lighter on them."

Barbara Bui


Still, Bui can picture her spring 2023 designs popping up at Cannes Film Festival, too.

"To be different and not be like all the others with puffy dresses!" she jokes. "A lot of my inspiration comes from Bianca Jagger when she was young and married Mick Jagger in a white suit. That’s really my idea of elegance."

Barbara Bui


The spring collection also includes a variety of high platform shoes, which Bui says she's a fan of because, when added to any look, they "destroy the appearance of being clean" and spice up an outfit.

"You are not so clean, but you are exuberant."

You heard it here first: Out with the clean-girl thing and in with exuberance.

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