How best to honor house codes while trying to avoid being pigeonholed because of them? For Max and Lubov Azria, that may be an impossible circle to square at Hervé Léger, a label that's basically synonymous with body-con. Credit, then, to the duo for—kind of—trying.
The designers put the amount of "body" in body-con in the hands of the wearer in the opening looks, using zippers to control dress silhouettes (zip down for a fitted skirt, zip up for flare) and to create conceal-and-reveal apertures within the dress itself. But the aggressive black leather corset belts those dresses were worn with—some so big as to swallow the whole torso—didn't allow for much breathing room. All in all, the mood was as bandage as ever. The fuller, kicky skirts on the opening dresses were fun, but a more interesting experiment in volume was a boxy jacquard top printed to hint at the curves beneath. A moment for the prints: Pulled from Polynesian body art, they were uniformly strong and coolly crafty. But back to that top: Backstage before the show, Lubov said she and Max wanted to focus on separates, and this item was one of the few non-dress, non-swimwear pieces that could fit the bill.
As for dresses, a notable trio came beaded and crocheted, lending a different quality to the signature banding. The shape was unmistakably Hervé, but the fabric didn't cling so much as contain, suggestively. Baby steps, perhaps, but steps all the same. There will always be bandage dresses for the women who crave them, and for everyone else, there was a pretty fancy sweatshirt.