"I can't really look at a model directly," Yigal Azrouël said. "I look at the mirror." It might sound like an unusually distant way to design (at least to those unaware that someone as masterful as Yves Saint Laurent also worked that way). But the longer, leaner you reflected in Azrouël's towering studio mirror—well, that's someone you wouldn't mind staring back at you in the dressing-room looking glass.
And so, accordingly, the clothes Azrouël showed were long, lean, and elegant. Pales and whites are staking a strong claim as the shades of the season, and they took center stage here: blush, oyster, almond, and optic (the designer's name for a creamy off-white). From the first exit, lightness, in heft as in color, was the word. Fluttering tails of georgette trailed in the models' wake, and soft, wide pants (another key Spring element) swayed. Lest the look get too diaphanous, tailored accents like reverse darts and flashes of metallic detail—exposed zippers, in the main, and the metal braces on some of the shoes Azrouël is designing solo for the first time—were there to anchor it. But the overall impression was lovely, balletic. It's a step—a leap, perhaps?—in the more streamlined, sinuous direction he's been pursuing for a season or so. Pieces like a color-blocked crepe dress with an exposed back or an ankle-length white gown
with a corded rope detail suggest it's the right one.