January 09, 2011 New York
Things have roughened up a bit chez Azrouël since the feather-light collection he showed for Spring. If that show was a departure, this felt like a conscious retrenchment. Azrouël played up the body by tracing seams with leather accents and picking out stitches, for more of his preferred color-block effect. It went a step further when he layered fabric on fabric, alternating between gossamer chiffons and drop-stitched cashmere knits on a three-quarter-sleeved blouse. That item looked almost—save for the beading—like a boy's baseball shirt, and an elegant wool cashmere suit, with structured pagoda shoulders and long, wide trousers, also adapted men's tropes for the ladies. But in addition to those floor-dusting pants, Azrouël brought out pleated, cropped carrot pants that will stand alongside the other abbreviated options we've been seeing throughout the pre-fall collections. And to stand apart: a sheared mink hat fit for a Russian princess, a fox-fur vest dripping ostrich feathers, and a one-shouldered, metallic gown casually strewn with jewels.