"She's going to Paris this year," Yigal Azrouël said of his imagined woman at his studio today. So is the designer, incidentally. Azrouël recently announced that he's moving his menswear runway show to the City of Light, and the spirit of the French capital (and the menswear) bled into his pre-fall women's collection, the first he's shown to the press.
Things have roughened up a bit chez Azrouël since the feather-light collection he showed for Spring. If that show was a departure, this felt like a conscious retrenchment. Azrouël played up the body by tracing seams with leather accents and picking out stitches, for more of his preferred color-block effect. It went a step further when he layered fabric on fabric, alternating between gossamer chiffons and drop-stitched cashmere knits on a three-quarter-sleeved blouse. That item looked almost—save for the beading—like a boy's baseball shirt, and an elegant wool cashmere suit, with structured pagoda shoulders and long, wide trousers, also adapted men's tropes for the ladies. But in addition to those floor-dusting pants, Azrouël brought out pleated, cropped carrot pants that will stand alongside the other abbreviated options we've been seeing throughout the pre-fall collections. And to stand apart: a sheared mink hat fit for a Russian princess, a fox-fur vest dripping ostrich feathers, and a one-shouldered, metallic gown casually strewn with jewels.