February 16, 2009 New York
Something old: Rather than mess with a winning formula, Max and Lubov Azria revisited draping, this time effectively layering goddess dresses—some in velvet, others in jersey—over body stockings and leggings to give them a harder, more futuristic Lara Croft edge. One of the prettiest was a plum chiffon gown with an asymmetrical hem and attached scarf that flowed like water.
Something new: Fresher was the Victorian tinge. "We fell in love with a piece of lace," Lubov said, by way of explanation. The material added texture and a snowy delicateness to the collection.
Something borrowed: The more structured looks that opened the show (carapacelike corsets and toppers with inverted-triangle silhouettes) could have been seen at the Azrias' Hervé Léger show earlier this week.
Something blue: The brand attracts some big names, as Alicia Keys (in the audience tonight) and Angelina Jolie could attest. The image of Angelina at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in a sea blue Max Azria dress from Spring still resonates. It was quite an endorsement.
The unifying goal for Fall, according to Lubov, was to make women feel strong and confident—and, as the program notes put it, to "explore the ethereal seduction of the dark side." That's a tall order, and one that the Azrias only partly fulfilled. Still, there were points of light.