"We just decided to strip everything away," said Lubov Azria backstage after the BCBG Max Azria show. "Last season was very dark, so we went toward the light."
And so, out went the slightly witchy trappings of Fall, and in swept yard upon yard of airy organza, sheer tulle, and liquid jersey. The Azrias played with a familiar feminine dichotomy: the lady and the tramp. The former was a real grown-up in belted silhouettesno infantile tent dresses here. She demurely kept her hems below the knee and often wielded an envelope clutch. The latter favored minidresses with bustier tops and flippy skirts (some veering dangerously close to lingerie territory) that nodded to the grand master of sexed-up fashion, Azzedine Alaïa. According to Mrs. Azria, customers will want to tag-team the looks depending on their varying moods. It's true enough that we dress to suit our mindsets each morning, but here the two extremes were a bit jarring.
The fresh new mood chez Azria did shine through in a palette of breezy pales and cool, washed neutrals. However, the show's grander themes of "luminosity" and "layers of transparency" at times got the best of them. It's safe to bet that a sheer, layered trench with printed patch pockets won't ever see the fluorescent light of a department store. Still, come spring there will be more than enough of the pretty dresses that are the collection's bread and butter to please its fans, no matter who they might want to be that day.