The only thing wrong with Lubov and Max Azria doing luxe minimalism for their Max Azria show is that a reviewer must resist the urge to indulge in some sort of Max-goes-minimal wordplay. Must resist. Other than that, today's show was a beauty, which built on and really refined the clean direction the Azrias started heading in last Spring.

This brand of minimalism was serene and spare, with nothing that was overly stark or challengingly architectural. The tonal looks, either in creamy neutrals or blacks and charcoals, followed in the hybridized fabric vein that seems to be everyone's cup of tea these days. Leathers mixed it up with wools, and there was a peekaboo play in paneled crepe dresses inset with mesh. For a collection that skewed conservative, the latter added a necessary little frisson. Still, the clean and covered-up restraint of a beautiful oatmeal bouclé coat or a chic boxy taupe leather tee and trousers is something we can certainly get behind. Evening too was a subdued affair, mostly. Amid the lovely unembellished and billowing draped jersey frocks were a series of black ribbed-knit dresses with wide panels of bugle beading that strangely echoed the Azrias' other high-end label, Hervé Léger. Those pieces will be an easier sell to this duo's starlet contingent.