January 31, 2008
The Israeli designer traded in the chill, sunbaked surfer scene of his Spring show for a bit of New York attitude. His 47-piece collection was shown against a hyperkinetic video backdrop shot on an alphabet soup of subway lines in the span of about two weeks by Chiara Clemente (who is soon to release Our City Dreams, a film portrait of five women artists living in Gotham). Before the show, Azrouël said that he wanted to stress the individuality of each look, which goes some way toward explaining the sometimes puzzling confluences. The mix brought to mind the sort of outfits you might see on strange seat-fellows crowded together on a rush-hour IRT car: a delicate dress embroidered with feathers, for example, jostling for space with plaid asymmetric shirtdresses, a pair of saggy-seated washed-leather stovepipe pants, and Alaïa-esque separates. Over the past few seasons, Azrouël's work has had a somewhat scruffed-up effectthe best example being his shrunken leather jacketsbut the strongest looks in Fall's mash-up were draped and suspended pieces that didn't look like they were trying to "be" anything (or prove anything). These, no doubt, were the good things that happened when Azrouël, as he put it, "let the fabric tell me what to do."