For the first time this season, Yigal Azrouël separated his men's and women's collections, giving each its own runway show. That presumably meant a lot of extra work for the designer (not to mention the behind-the-scenes team racing to keep up with him), but the payoff was that the split gave each collection a little space to breathe.
It also pointed up the diverging paths of Azrouël's men's and women's offerings. For women, Azrouël continued to streamline, paring down the layers that once defined his style. For men, he hewed to more familiar territory: lived-in separates with a faintly tribal beat. Men have been getting more comfortable seeing their own knees these past few seasons, and Azrouël's Spring proposition is for shorts, shorts, and shorts, many climbing to mid-thigh (one imagines they'll be lengthened a bit by the time they hit the sales floor, but maybe not). The silhouette is wide and boxy, allowing for the designer's standard slouch. It's a more aggressively fashion-forward look than Azrouël has offered in the past, right down to the cutout sandals debuting on the catwalk. If a few of the pieces—the one-piece shorts suit in particular—seem like a stretch for the Azrouël guy, it shouldn't be enough to give him serious pause. What's good here is what's always been good: masculine leathers (like a distressed sheepskin baseball jacket) and the faintly military outerwear, from a cotton khaki parka to a lambskin-accented trench shown, like one or two others seen this week, unburdened of its sleeves.