A good Yigal Azrouël show makes for a pretty accurate barometer of the mood of fashion at a particular moment. Azrouël isn't an innovator, necessarily, but when he's on his game, as he was this season, the designer shows off both a sensitive radar for the trends that are meaningful at a given time, and a great deal of finesse in interpreting them in an attractive, accessible way. It does him no injustice to point out the debt to Celine in this latest collection, witnessed by its monastic necklines, squared-off shapes, bolts of bright color, and general simplicity of attitude. But Azrouël did Celine his own way, infusing everything with a sense of sex appeal all his own. These clothes will be catnip for his customers.
There were a few misfires. A pair of wide-leg, orange lambskin trousers, for instance, came off a bit heavy, given both their volume and the weight of the leather. In general, though, the looks were appealing—neat suits and separates in tropical-weight wool gabardine; loose-fitting dresses with fine, geometric topstitched detail; no-brainer collarless coats in bright, pleasing colors; and an easy-feeling group in a vivid yellow-and-black georgette print that should have been obnoxious, but wasn't. And, as noted, Azrouël juiced a lot of the looks with sexiness—to wit, a seemingly dowdy shirtdress, done in semi-sheer lipstick-red crepe de chine, featured come-hither slits up its sides. These kinds of details went a long way toward making this collection pop, and Azrouël was judicious in his use of them. It's no wonder his star is on the rise.