It's hardly a secret : taste is rather arbitrary. Looking at this Ami collection after Balmain was very interesting. At Balmain, there was an almost obscene level of expert handiwork on display -in both the embellishment-plumped pre-Fall looks and gold spangled men’s cavalry fantasies. At Ami, with the exception of some blue-strafed silver sequined pieces near the crescendo, there was not a whiff of that virtuoso ostentation. Watching this show after Balmain was like seeing an ice-skater going from A to B immediately after another locked in an endless cycle of dizzying, perfect pirouettes. And yet, how great this was : just full of fantastic clothes to wear whose proportions were completely in tune with the progressive minutiae of our moment. That’s totally subjective, but what can you do ? As per usual, there were women and men in near-identical looks, differently sized. Both genders were totally convincing citizens. Often there were monotone combinations : camel peak topcoat against camel wool pant, gray topcoat against gray pant, with occasional variations of check and leg stripe. Really, Ami doesn’t need to hold a show : it’s a 5-year-old brand that makes perfectly observed prosaic. You could swoon over it on a rail, too. Berluti had the hottest shearlings of the season but these ran it a close second. At the end, the models clustered at one side of the darkened runway in a patch of yellow light that slowly intensified. Alexandre Mattiussi said he’d wanted to portray an all-nighter in Paris. In truth, barring those sequins, perhaps these clothes were a little plain for that.