The monastic hoods and stark silhouettes on Yigal Azrouël
's Spring runway were a drastic departure for the downtown designer beloved for draped dresses and tough leather jackets that get better with age. Rather than continuing down that directional new path for pre-fall, Azrouël returned to more familiar territory with a commercial collection that should be a hit with the label's core fan base. "These are clothes for a woman who knows what she wants, but never tries too hard," he said at a showroom preview. Chances are, his customer is in the market for killer outerwear, and, true to form, there were several covetable pieces here. A cool funnel-neck coat with quilted sleeves was cut from a double-faced wool with a scubalike stretch, while the designer updated one of his signature biker jackets with python-printed micro shearling. On the topic of fur, two silver fox vests—one of which was tipped in cobalt blue—earned high marks. This season's fit was more body-con than usual, and second-skin sheath dresses in either stretch leather or a metallic lace jacquard were lined with power mesh that has a "Spanx effect." Sexy? You bet. While we commend Azrouël for stepping outside of his comfort zone in September, it's nice to see the designer doing what he does best again.