February 03, 2008
"It's a bit stronger, a bit sexier," said Lubov Azria backstage before the show, holding up as evidence a trapunto-stitched bra, to be worn Madonna-style over your clothes. Fall, explained Mrs. Azria, was essentially an evolution of Spring's boudoir-inspired show. But the underwear-as-outerwear did make you wonder whether the Azrias' clothes were actually evolving from boudoir to bawdy. That wasn't quite the case on the runway, however: Despite the presence of external underthings and glimpses of under-underthings, any brazen sexuality was muffled by the heavy fabrics and muted hues of Fall in a crowded show that could have used a little more focus. Instead, it was sex as accessorya corset to cinch a sweater dress with a saucy bit of taffeta peeking out, or a garter just barely visible through a silk gauze trench. With an abundance of skirts, dresses, and an overall emphasis on the waist, there was a lot of lady present here, but the most interesting looks juxtaposed her with a practical, tomboy toucha color-blocked T-shirt fastened with a stitched brassiere, tucked into soft cashmere pants that might do double duty as pajamas. Perhaps the next evolution come Spring?